GloPAD (GLOBAL PERFORMING ARTS DATABASE) is a multimedia, multilingual, Web-accessible database containing digital images, texts, video clips, sound recordings, and complex media objects (such as 3-D images) related to the performing arts around the world. All GloPAD records include authoritative, detailed descriptions of the digital objects, in addition to information about related pieces, productions, performers, and creators.
Selected Features of GloPAD
Multimedia: The database will have the capacity to store and retrieve still images, video clips, sound recordings, text, and complex media objects (including 3-D images). Streaming video, sound recordings, and complex media objects are currently being tested.
Multilingual: All GloPAD entries will be in English as well as in the language(s) of the performance and/or the related materials. Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and German are currently available for data entry and will be displayed on the public interface by October 2005. Additional languages will be added as resources permit.
Authoritative: Recognized scholars and performing arts specialists supervise the input of records in their fields of expertise. Advisory boards to oversee general operations are currently being established.
Number of digital objects: The database contains over 4,500 items. By October 2005, at least 700 more will be added—a figure that will increase rapidly with additional funding.
Standardization: With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, GloPAC has developed a metadata schema for the performing arts. The implementation of this standard in GloPAD ensures that all digital objects are described in a way that promotes effective searching across cultures and performance types.
Wealth of information: Using the rich metadata structure, each digital object in the database is accompanied by a wealth of information about the performing art represented and/or the many components (costumes, sets, programs, scripts, etc.) related to performance. In addition, GloPAD provides descriptive information about the items (photographs, videos, paintings, books, etc.) from which the digital surrogates are created, including details about creators, repositories, and intellectual property rights.
User interfaces: GloPAD has two user interfaces: one enables the public to employ a browse function to explore the collection along geographic and thematic pathways or a search mode to execute more refined inquiries; the other, for staff and editors, contains online help and templates to make the data entry process efficient and reliable. Both interfaces are under development at this time following earlier testing of prototypes.
Accessibility: GloPAC intends to make this database easily available to anyone with an educational, creative, and/or personal interest in the performing arts for private use or short-term classroom work. Access is currently free; in the future, a graded subscription system may be instituted to cover development and maintenance costs. To enable broad access for people with disabilities, we are using recognized standards as a guide for Web accessibility.
Performing Arts Resource Centers (PARCs) make use of the digital objects and information stored in GloPAD. They are interactive, innovative, and interpretive learning environments designed to advance the teaching and study of the performing arts by combining scholarly content with technologically sophisticated learning tools. Visit JPARC (Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center) to see a prototypical example of a PARC.
Intellectual Property Rights: Copyright owners of the items submitted to GloPAD retain copyright to their objects; GloPAC only requests non-exclusive Web rights to the digital surrogates. People who wish to have copies of the digital surrogates for other than personal or short-term educational use will be referred to the owners of the items scanned or to their representatives. All creators and owners of the objects are fully acknowledged in GloPAD.
Funding: GloPAC's current major funding (in addition to ongoing support from participating institutions) is a grant of over $470,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (2002-2005) to develop metadata standards for the performing arts; create online help and templates that can then be used by others for their own collections; and add over 2,000 new digital objects to GloPAD. We are seeking additional funding to further expand GloPAD and to develop PARCs.