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The IMAP Cataloging Project seeks to establish a compatible information system for independent media collections across broad geographic regions, among a wide range of arts organizations, artists, and performers. Originally designed for independent artists, producers, and small organizations without a trained cataloging staff, the IMAP Cataloging Template is just as useful for archivists, librarians, and museum specialists. This part of the IMAP web site can help you organize a collection of independent media.

* Purchase a copy of the IMAP Cataloging Template. The IMAP Cataloging Template is available to IMAP members in either a FileMaker Pro (version 5.0 or higher, for Macintosh or Windows) or Microsoft Access (Windows only) version. The Template is only a file created for these programs; users must have their own software. Useful for cataloging video, audio, and film materials, the Template comes with detailed instructions.

* The Cataloging Tutorial explains each field in the Template step by step.

* The Sample Records provide examples of catalog entries.

* You may also find our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Glossary of Terms helpful.

* Support IMAP and the Cataloging Project.

History of the Project
In the late 1980s, media makers and leaders of media arts access and exhibition centers recognized the need to address issues of cataloging and preservation in order to maintain the history of video art, independent television production, and other art forms documented on electronic media. In the early 1990s, the National Moving Image Database (NAMID), led by Margaret Byrne, joined with Media Alliance of New York State and 18 other media arts organizations from around New York to form the Regional Cataloging Project.

The Regional Cataloging Project was an effort to create computer catalogs of some of the most important and seminal collections of alternative media. In the early 1990s, NAMID developed several prototypes for a cataloging template while working with organizations such as The Kitchen, Electronic Arts Intermix, the Video Data Bank, Anthology Film Archives, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. In 1994, Media Alliance, headed by Mona Jimenez, convened a meeting in Rochester facilitated by filmmaker and archivist Jim Hubbard. At that meeting, Henry Mattoon of NAMID and a small group of upstate New York media arts organizations established the criteria for a cataloging structure that would meet the needs of the media arts community and conform to nationally recognized standards.

In 1996, Media Alliance hired Jim Hubbard to create a template in FileMaker Pro, based on the NAMID prototypes, that followed as closely as possible the principles of MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging). When IMAP was formed in 1999, it took over the activities of Media Alliance's Video Preservation Initiation. The Template was renamed the IMAP MARC for FileMaker Template. With the creation of the Microsoft Access version, the Template has been renamed the IMAP Cataloging Template.

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Getty Grant Program, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), IMAP has completely redesigned its web site and the IMAP Cataloging Template. The redesign of the Template has included the introduction of the Microsoft Access version, which offers the Template to Windows users. The redesign also included a more user-friendly interface, additional layouts, more pop-up lists for increased standardization of terms and the introduction of field names more closely allied with the usage within the field. By introducing audio sub-layouts, we have made the Template useful for those with sound collections, and the creation of the Dublin Core layout natively imbeds a MARC/Dublin Core Crosswalk in the Template. IMAP used funding to add a Full Tutorial to the web site, which includes detailed instructions on all the fields in the Template. An interactive Quiz allows experienced and new catalogers to test their knowledge.

Why Compatible Cataloging Is Important
Cataloging is a fundamental first step to saving media collections. Having a catalog gives a clear picture of what a collection contains, which is essential when applying for funds to remaster, to upgrade storage, or even to find a new home for work. Catalog information proves very useful when prioritizing what parts of a collection should be attended to first. Also, by sharing information about holdings, media groups are less likely to waste precious funds remastering different versions of the same works.

The long-term goal of the Cataloging Project is to make significant media-based collections available to a broad user base, including artists, arts groups, curators, scholars, educators, and students. IMAP believes that the Cataloging Project will lay the foundation for a union catalog of independent media, eventually allowing a user to search for a work by title or artist across numerous individual catalogs through a single interface.

Further, IMAP is committed to fostering a prominent position for the records of its member organizations in Moving Images Collections (MIC) the joint project of the Library of Congress and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) that will aggregate the records of a large number of media collections. The goal of the MIC portal is to provide a window to the world's moving-image collections for educators, researchers, exhibitors, and the general public that also allows preservationists to collaborate and thus avoid costly duplication of effort. By placing records of alternative media organizations within the context of much larger, more mainstream collections, we hope to increase interest in and access to a wider variety of media for a much larger audience.

The Kitchen
Electronic Arts Intermix
Video Data Bank
Anthology Film Archives
Long Beach Museum of Art


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