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Art Tracks is an IMLS funded initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art that aims to turn provenance in to structured data by building a suite of open source software tools. These tools transform traditional written provenance records into searchable data, with an emphasis on existing data standards and a strong focus on building tools that are useful (and usable) across multiple institutions.
Once we have converted our provenance information into structured data, we can ask complex questions like “Which works in our collection were in the same city in the same year?” or “Which artworks in our collection were owned by an artist whose work is also in our collection?” By doing more with the data we already have, we can discover gaps in knowledge, shape collections policy, and better understand the ecosystem of the collection and the institution.
This colloquium will discuss how we’re addressing the problems of provenance, what data we’re finding and hope to find, and start a discussion about the possibilities of museum data, both inside and outside the Carnegie Museums.