Confused about how Shared Shelf Commons fits in with the Artstor Digital Library and what we mean by the Artstor Workspace? We hear you! Let’s clear up the difference between Artstor the organization, your institution’s Artstor Workspace, the Artstor Digital Library, and Shared Shelf Commons.
Artstor is a nonprofit organization committed to digital collection solutions for universities, museums, schools, and libraries worldwide. Artstor’s primary goals are to assemble image collections from across many cultures and eras in support of educational and scholarly activities, and to work with the arts and educational communities to develop collective solutions to the challenges of working in a digital environment.
The Artstor Workspace refers to the software platform that includes the tools, functionality and environment within which subscribers of Shared Shelf view both Artstor Digital Library and Shared Shelf content.
The Artstor Digital Library refers specifically to content that is contributed by museums, archives, libraries, scholars, and artists to Artstor. This content is stored on Artstor servers with normalized metadata and made available to all Artstor Digital Library subscribers. In addition, the contributed content undergoes legal review in order to provide indemnification to users.
Shared Shelf Commons content lives on its own site (sscommons.org) and recently also became available through your institution’s Artstor Workspace. However, from a legal standpoint, this content is different from the Artstor Digital Library content in that the copyright is owned (or made available according to fair use principles) by the institutions that have published to Shared Shelf Commons from one of their Shared Shelf projects. Artstor acts as the online service provider for Shared Shelf Commons content and does not provide indemnification to users like we do for the content in the Artstor Digital Library.
You can find this and other helpful Shared Shelf tips from our discussion list on the Shared Shelf Support site.