Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Apopos of JSTORiana, Juke puts us in mind of another mode of expropriating our intellect in order to sell it back to us: The AMICA library, which, despite its name, may not be the friendliest purveyor of cherished cultural flotsam. Apparently this fine "library" purports to own images - some of which at least are freely available to the public at no charge from the superb Library of Congress online archive -- and sells them back to us for the mere pittance of $150 a year subscriptions (individual rate).

Can we just stipulate that so long as USia maintains its commanding lead in the world decathalon of universal stupidity, scams like this will not starve for lack of suckerage?

AMICA is not alone. On the model of JSTOR, behold ARTstor, a digital library with half a million images in art, architecture, humanities and social sciences. #.

ARTstor, another Andrew W. Mellon intelprop gatekeeper, bills itself as "Images for Education and Scholarship." It is avowedly emulative of JSTOR, but currently refuses participation to individuals on any terms. Its blog is free and open to the public. There we learn that:
ARTstor recently announced a collaboration with Art Resource and Scala Archives (Florence, Italy). Through this collaboration, ARTstor will ultimately make available approximately 12,000 high quality images of European art and architecture, with a special focus on the archaeology, art and architecture of Italy and on the collections of the major museums in Italy and other European countries.

We are pleased to announce that we have released additional images of major Italian and other European work from Scala Archives, bringing the total number of Scala images now available to ARTstor users to approximately 7,800.

"Available," "have released," -- code reminiscent of the language of country clubs, whose amenities are "free" to every single child of the earth whose membership obligations are current and paid in full.

In the course of their education, some children will see these images and read this scholarship, and some will not.

AMICA mia, amigo mio, mon amis, ARTstor my hypocrite, mon frere, what will you sell us next? MUZAKstor, LIFEstor, DNAstor, AIRstor, VISIONstor, H2Ostor, JOCKITCHstor, BOOGERstor -- the possibilities stagger.

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