The American Art Collaborative Linked Open Data Consortium
The American Art Collaborative (AAC) is a consortium of fourteen U.S. institutions—thirteen museums and one archive—working together to create a critical mass of Linked Open Data (LOD) around the subject of the visual arts in America.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has been the lead museum of the AAC since the consortium’s formal establishment in 2014. For a full list of participating institutions, educational briefings, presentations, and general project background, visit AmericanArtCollaborative.org
Thanks to generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (awarded to SAAM on behalf of AAC) and a leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (awarded to AAC partner Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), the AAC has converted over 230,000 museum object records to LOD.
Using the AAC Data
The URI construction for SPARQL queries is data.americanartcollaborative.org/sparql. We invite developers to make use of this data in their applications and share their results with us.
- Connect to SAAM's artist data using this URI schema: data.americanartcollaborative.org/saam/constituent/id/[ID]
- Example: http://data.americanartcollaborative.org/page/saam/constituent/id/2297
- Find an individual artist ID in the online collections search. The ID of an artist can be found both at the end of the URL, and in the “Linked Open Data URI“ link.
- Connect to our artwork data using this URI schema: data.americanartcollaborative.org/saam/object/id/[object_number]
- Example: http://data.americanartcollaborative.org/page/saam/object/id/1980_71
- You can find the artwork "object_number" in the online collections search. The object number of an artwork can be found in both the descriptive information on the page, and in the "Linked Open Data URI" link; note that underscores are substituted for any decimal points.
Metadata and LOD from the AAC partners is freely available on GitHub:
View the Browse Application Prototype
To design and develop a usable application for exploring the collected data, the project established a Browse Working Group, involving six of the 14 institutions and led by Design for Context, who developed a demonstration application, available at browse.americanartcollaborative.org.
The site allows objects and artists from across the 14 partner institutions to be explored through one interface. This application is a prototype, and is not meant to represent all the things that can be done with museum data in the future. Rather, it provides easy access to the available partner information and focuses on a few straightforward ways that data from the different institutions can be connected and explored.
Licensing and Usage Guidelines for SAAM Data
The Smithsonian American Art Museum has licensed the use of our collections metadata under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). This license allows for re-use of the metadata without legal restriction. Please be aware that the content to which the metadata links is not covered by the CC0 license. While the Smithsonian American Art Museum provides hyperlinks as a means of referencing underlying image or multimedia content associated with the metadata, this content itself is not part of the metadata being released and is not necessarily covered by the CC0 license.
If you wish to use the underlying content for anything other than personal or non-commercial usage, please contact Rights and Reproductions staff.
- Give proper attribution by including the statement “Data Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum” and by providing the URI for the object being referenced.
- Do not mislead others, or misrepresent the metadata or its sources.
- Understand that data is used at your own risk.
AAC Next Steps
As a next step, the AAC is seeking additional funding to expand the application of LOD within the museum and archival communities. As more museums produce LOD, we hope they will contact us, dialogue will ensue, and opportunities will increase to link or interconnect data and further demonstrate the value of LOD.