year in review / happy holidays

Santas at the Santa Claus School, Albion, N.Y.

Arbus, Diane, Santas at the Santa Claus School, Albion, N.Y., 1964.

It’s been a busy year for the Visual Resources Center, and as we prepare to leave campus for the holidays I’d like to take some time to reflect upon some of the new images and services available not only to the College of Fine and Applied Arts, but also the campus community.

In February we began to use Shared Shelf, a new image management and cataloging platform that allows the VRC to upload content into ARTstor, a library of digital images. While ARTstor already has over one million images in it’s collection, it’s still not entirely comprehensive for teaching and research needs here in FAA. Since February, the VRC has uploaded almost 4,000 images, including the photography of Diane Arbus and Gordon Parks, works from Asia, the Impressionists, and much more. To browse the collection, simply double click on “FAA Teaching Collection” in the institutional collections section of ARTstor’s homepage. We are continuously adding new images, so please let us know if there is something you’d like to see.

The VRC has also been trying to reach out to more potential users in order to improve access to (and information about) digital images. In the fall we debuted our new website, which contains information on everything from accessing our ARTstor collection to digital preservation best practices. Next year we will be working on improving the navigation of the website, making it a more user-friendly and intuitive experience. We’ve also been teaching ARTstor workshops through the library’s Savvy Researcher workshop series, where you can learn about using the database for finding and teaching with images.

Next semester we’ll continue to provide these services, but we are always looking to improve. Be on the lookout for a workshop on finding images (not focused on ARTstor),  an event showcasing digital humanities tools, and possibly a workshop on editing images using free online tools. If there is something specific related to visual resources that you’re interested in learning more about, please don’t hesitate to contact us about it.

I hope you’ve all had a great year as well, and wish you the happiest of holidays.