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About IMAP

Mission Statement

IMAP serves the caretakers of media collections by providing information resources to help preserve our cultural heritage. IMAP offers innovative solutions through information sharing, continuing education and networking opportunities. MORE


Who We Are

Independent Media Arts Preservation, Inc. (IMAP) is a nonprofit service, education, and advocacy organization committed to the preservation of non-commercial electronic media. IMAP has grown from a New York—based consortium of arts organizations and individuals to a national resource for preservation training, information, and advocacy. IMAP’s core constituents include institutions, organizations, and individuals whose diverse media collections are underserved by existing preservation efforts. IMAP provides archivists, artists, conservators, curators, distributors, librarians, media makers, producers, registrars, scholars, and other professionals with accessible solutions to document and preserve media collections.

IMAP defines independent media as time-based, non-commercial production incorporating video or audio, both analog and digital, including but not limited to: video art, audio art, new media, and technology-based installation art; independent documentary and community media; and documentation of arts and culture. While IMAP's primary focus is on electronic media, it also works closely with groups focused on the preservation of film, performance, interdisciplinary, and multimedia work.

IMAP recognizes that electronic media–particularly independent work housed outside of large, established archives–is a vital part of our diverse cultural heritage. Museums, art centers, dance and theater companies, libraries, university departments, nonprofit distributors, and public television stations generally lack support and professional development to ensure the longevity of their media collections. As a clearinghouse for preservation practices–including description and cataloging, education, and training–IMAP assists organizations and individuals in their stewardship of media collections and ultimately facilitates access to these significant cultural materials.

> Board Members > Advisory Council > Staff and Consultants > Funders > Members

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What We Do

IMAP supports the field with:

Information Resources: IMAP provides access to information about preservation through the IMAP website, the IMAP Preservation Online Resource Guide, listserv, education and training programs

The Cataloging Project: IMAP’s Cataloging Template and online Tutorial is a standards-based tool for cataloging media collections (video, audio, film). It was created specifically for individuals without professional training in archival management and information science, but is also valuable for archivists and librarians affiliated with institutions.

Education and Training: IMAP offers workshops, cataloging training, public programs, one-on-one assessments, and technical assistance.

Advocacy: IMAP serves as the hub for its diverse constituents, who approach media arts from varied perspectives and professions. IMAP maintains a listserv, sponsored by the Wexner Center for the Arts [link] and promotes the visibility of independent media in printed and online publications, forums, and conferences concerned with the development and funding of media preservation.

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History of IMAP

IMAP, Independent Media Arts Preservation, Inc., was born out of a recognized need for a single organization to take the lead in advocating and providing information for the preservation of independent media. It was evident to members of the media arts, the performing and visual arts, and the archival, conservation, and library fields that there was a dearth of critical information necessary to save important media materials.

Initially fueled by the leadership of Media Alliance of New York State (under director Mary Esbjornson), IMAP was catapulted into existence through the hard work and vision of artist and media preservation specialist Mona Jimenez in the spring of 1999, after initial meetings at Electronic Arts Intermix and WNET/13 in New York. A steering committee was formed and a membership base was created. The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) provided the seed money and Electronic Arts Intermix served as fiscal sponsor until 2002, when IMAP was incorporated.

The IMAP Cataloging Template, an easy-to-use standards-based cataloging tool created by filmmaker and archivist Jim Hubbard, has been IMAP’s flagship service to the field. Development of the template has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Getty Grant Program. New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) provided the funding to research the viability of delivering the Cataloging Template online. IMAP launched its first web site primarily dedicated to the Cataloging Project in 2001.

Under the leadership of Director Dara Meyers-Kingsley, who joined IMAP in the summer of 2001, IMAP strengthened its infrastructure and expanded core programs. Significant funds were raised from the NEA, Getty Grant Program, and the Rockefeller Foundation to support the IMAP Cataloging Project. IMAP was incorporated in 2002 and a Board of Directors and Advisory Council was created. Jim Hubbard continues to serve as the primary consultant for the Cataloging Project and Liss Platt, is the Project Manager overseeing the major redesign of the IMAP web site. IMAP received 501(c)(3) status in July 2003.

For more historical information on IMAP and the field, please read: IMAPFunderPaper.pdf, MannAbstract.pdf, and IMAPemap.pdf

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