Dear colleagues,

        As some of you will be aware, the ARTstor web site
( provides fairly detailed information about ARTstor,
with a focus on mission and goals, key policy matters, our approach to
collection building, testing and rollout plans, etc.  The site also
includes a Frequently Asked Questions section
( that (we hope!) provides answers to many
of the questions ARTstor staff are asked most often.   We are of course
quite aware that it may not answer all the good questions you might have
about ARTstor, but we will post answers to further questions when we
have them!  We hope you will let us know when our answers fail to
address your concerns adequately.

        As a case in point, we have heard recently that our site fails
to adequately address a possible misconception about participation in
ARTstor.  It seems that some colleagues at various institutions have the
mistaken impression that it will be necessary--or at least singularly
advantageous--to purchase third party image management software to make
the most of ARTstor.  That is not the case.  We take very seriously the
statement in our FAQ that expresses ARTstor's commitment to making its
collections available without requiring subscribers to purchase third
party software.  To this end, the ARTstor digital library will be
accompanied by a user-friendly, browser-based toolset that ARTstor
developed internally over the past year.  This basic toolset, an early
version of which is being tested and assessed at our 14 test sites now,
will be provided as an integral part of ARTstor, and we are committed to
the ongoing development of this native ARTstor software.

        In the course of building ARTstor, we have explored a range of
software options for delivering and using ARTstor content, and we have
worked very closely with the developers of the Insight software (Luna
Imaging, Inc.), the MDID software (developed by our test partners at
James Madison University), and others to explore these options in the
context of users' needs.  We are still actively considering whether to
make ARTstor available in other widely used software environments
alongside our own.  And we are also exploring strategies for
"interoperating" with widely used software packages, including not only
image management software but also learning management software,
reference compiling programs, library management systems, etc.  Those
are complex questions we are presently studying along with our test
partners.  But, again, it will not be necessary to employ a third party
software in order to take fullest advantage of ARTstor.

        We hope this clarification is helpful, and regret any ambiguity
or confusion we might ourselves have occasioned as we have explored
various options for making ARTstor as valuable to users as possible.

        On behalf of ARTstor's User Services team,

        Max Marmor
        ARTstor/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation