In 2009, The Getty Foundation issued a challenge to eight art museums: translate a scholarly catalog rich with cultural heritage data, images, and interpretation into an online resource that strives to reach beyond the limitations of print in creative and useful ways. "Systematic catalogs" are a time-honored and resource-intensive method of publishing the core art historical data and art research associated with the cultural objects that these institutions hold in public trust. And so the Online Scholarly Catalog Initiative (OSCI) was begun with the goal of "blowing up the book"... not to eliminate or destroy, but rather to expand the utility and audience of these important resources.
In the spring of 2014, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, launched their OSCI publication of its Dutch Paintings of the 17th Century systematic catalog. This case study reveals how, through thoughtful and elegant design, Design for Context’s consultation helped the Gallery translate the printed catalog into a sustainable digital publication that extends the audience, usefulness, and sustainability of the information contained within. This talk presents a case study on incorporating academic research information from a traditional printed publication into the public web site for the National Gallery of Art. It also offers lessons that can be applied to other information sites.