Editor's Summary

Museum scholarly catalogues have been the mainstay for delivering authoritative collection information, capturing rich illustrations and reflecting research. But rising costs and shrinking distributions are fueling a move from analog to digital. The Getty Foundation is exploring building a framework for seamlessly compiling and publishing catalogues directly online from a museum's collections management system. Such a shift is a sharp departure from tradition, with numerous cultural and curatorial implications requiring support from catalogue creators and consumers and involving new image licensing considerations as well as production contributors with new skill sets. Collections management software will need to support authoring and publishing needs. The Getty is using the new process to create both a print and an online version of a collection catalogue. In the process, it is reimagining the museum scholarly catalogue as it transitions from a product to a service.