AcoHum Working Group on Computing in history of art, architecture and design


The ACO*HUM working group for art history is charged with the task of evaluating the application of IT in the teaching of Art History with the aim of making recommendations for shaping future developments. To this end, the committee has looked at various applications - some which are routinely implemented and others which are well within the range of today's state of the art technology. This report offers preliminary assessments of needs for training and of standardisation.

In Curriculum Will Vaughan provides some examples of IT used in teaching Art History, and discusses the feasibility of developing IT-driven courseware for use across borders and institutions. In Training he argues that regardless of the level of IT integration in the teaching of Art History, there is need for a systematic development of student IT skills. Trish Cashen points out that integration of IT in the teaching of Art History calls for updating IT skills of lecturers. She offers suggestions for how this might be achieved, with regard to both the motivating and training of Art History educators.

Open/Distance Learning is an area where IT-technology has come into wide use, primarily as a delivery mechanism. Trish Cashen reviews the benefits and drawbacks of CD-ROM and the Internet as means of presenting course material. The Bergen Distance Learning Project, headed by Britt Kroepelien, is an example of an Art History course which will be mediated by several different modern technological applications. In Presentation and Dissemination, Britt Kroepelien briefly describes IT- applications in distance education which, though not in wide use today, are fully within reach of today's technology.

Trish Cashen gives an overview of the archival Resources, in particular on-line archives, which are required to allow universities to take full advantage of modern IT-technology. The Tools, or the technical resources which are required (hardware and software) are discussed by Gerhard Nauta who, in Standards, also gives an introduction to the problems related to the absence of a universal digital image standard.

If they are to be implemented, the recommendations made by this committee must be based on a certain degree of co-operation with institutions working with history of art. The committee will therefore be encouraging the participation of universities, museums and art galleries as well as computer firms. In Participants Will Vaughan briefly describes the working group's motivation and guidelines for involving these institutions.

In the final section of this report Hubertus Kohle offers some reflections on the Methodological Implications of IT applications in the field of art history.