Codex Mendoza: The Historic Resource on Pre-Columbian Mexico is Now Digitally Available to the Public

A major primary source documenting the daily life of Aztec society has been recently digitized and made available to the public. This document, the 1542 Codex Mendoza is a detailed guide to Aztec life created under the orders of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza twenty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico. According to the introduction to the archive, it was created to “evoke an economical, political, and social panorama of the recently conquered lands.” Since 1659, it has been stored in the collection of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Mexican codices are both image and text-based documents that many pre-Hispanic cultures created to record and share knowledge and information. Codices are of special interest as, according to Dr. Baltazar Brito and Dr. Gerardo Gutierrez:

“…the knowledge contained in most of them is not actually recorded in a language that represents a language, as in the case of modern languages. Codices are part of a different communication system…They are composed of images and icons that work in tandem with memory, voice, and knowledge of individuals able to read them.”

Codex2

Illustrations found within the Codex Mendoza manuscript. 

This digitized document represents the first online in-depth study of a Mexican codex, created by National Institute of Anthropology and History with the aid of the Bodleian Library and Oxford’s King’s College in London. Their overall approach is highly innovative in its means of sharing and analyzing a complex document of this nature. The high-resolution scans also feature three different tabs for analyzing the document, “Transcription,” “Hypermedia,” and “Materiality.” These tabs allow for three varied means of understanding the scanned pages before you. The transcription tab provides both a clear English and Spanish translation of the text, which appears in a text box hovers over the portion of the text your cursor is on (see screenshots). Viewing the document via the hypermedia lens adds additional information that is useful for depicting border decorations and drawn images within the text. The Materiality function allows a zoom feature to further explore the object. Hyperallergic author Allison Meier looks at this digitization in the long term, in her article about the Codex Mendoza, “A Historic Manuscript on Aztec Life Is “‘Virtually Repatriated.'” Meier writes that ideally, the National Institute of Anthropology and History plans for this to be just the first in a series of archived and digitally available Mexican codices.

Detail of illustrated Codex Mendoza, shown with text hovering over images to highlight the interactive interface of the platform. 

This interactive and intuitive website design is unique and allows for the use of this primary source to be not just of academic/scholarly interest, but to anyone with interest in this important piece of Mexican history. You can access this digitized version of the Codex Mendoza here.

Halloween and TMA Air Photos

Last night, I had started mentally outlining a post about a wonderful new free resource that enables users to assess image quality based on calibration targets included in their images. But then I remembered that it’s Halloween, and I should instead pull together a post based on a spooky Halloween themed collection.

CA174831L0252_preview

CA174831L0252

While I came across a lot of great Halloween related material, including this collection from Wellcome Images, this 1903 film directed by Georges Méliès, and some charming children’s costumes via DPLA , what I decided to write about chilled me above all else. It is not a Medieval monster or menacing mummy, but rather a reminder of the very real Midwest winter to come. Specifically, it is the Antarctic Air Photography collection from the University of Minnesota.

Developed by the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota, this collection is comprised of more than 330,000 air photos, which were collected and scanned by the USGS EROS Data Center. The collection contains trimetrogon aerial photography, which is a method of taking three photos at one time: one vertical (in this collection, designated by a “V” in the filename), along with left and right obliques (at a 45° angle off nadir; designated by either “L” or “R”) taken along a single TMA flight line.

The easiest way to find Antarctic TMA photos, digitized flightline index maps, and approximate photo centers is through the PGC’s TMA Flightline Viewer, a web app that runs in your browser. The application allows users to browse and download Antarctic air photos digitally rather than having to search through rolls of film in the USGS archives. We even have camera calibration information here for those who need it.

Additionally, the PGC provides TMA flightline and photocenters data in two GIS formats: ESRI shapefiles (.shp) and Google Earth KMZ files. The files are separated by Antarctic region, such as Marie Byrd Land or Ross Island.

Users may also look up photos manually, rather than browsing by flightline or geographic region. A breakdown of USGS naming conventions is provided in order to help one navigate the data.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, and bundle up!

Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources (SEI): June 10-13th at UIUC!

Image

The Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI) is a joint project of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF). It is an intensive three and a half-day workshop will feature a curriculum that specifically addresses the requirements of today’s visual resources and image management professionals. Expert instructors will cover:

  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Digital Imaging
  • Digital Preservation
  • Metadata and Cataloging
  • Project Management
  • Professional Growth and Development 

Since 2004, SEI has produced almost 400 alumni, many of whom are working as image professionals. It is open to professionals, para-professionals, and graduate level students in visual resources, library science, the visual arts and related humanities fields, museum studies, and other image information disciplines. Participants may include:

  • Librarians or information professionals responsible for managing image or digital collections
  • Visual resources professionals and art librarians who want to update their knowledge of current practices
  • Individuals currently in the profession who seek focused training
  • Students seeking an important visual resources component to complement their graduate education.
  • Professionals working in cultural heritage fields where digitization and digital collection management is or will be a priority

As SEI continues, its goal remains constant: to provide visual resources professionals with a substantive educational and professional development opportunity focused on digital imaging, the information and experience needed to stay current in a rapidly changing field, and the opportunity to create a network of supportive colleagues.

Past Institutes have been attended by visual resources professionals new to the field, those currently enrolled in library schools who wish to augment their experience with image management training, and more experienced professionals eager to update their skill sets in response to fast-changing technological advancements. Each year’s Institute has been very successful, and we look forward to continuing that tradition each year at SEI.

Fortunately, this year SEI is going to be held on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus! The institute has been generously sponsored in part by two campus units: the University Library and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. In addition, participants will benefit from expertise of several local professionals as well as several other instructors well-recognized in their professions.  Faculty, staff, and students at UIUC enjoy a discounted rate (and don’t have to travel!), and there are also several scholarships available. 

Sarah Walkington, copyright guru at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, attended last year’s SEI at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and had this to say about her experience: 

I was excited to discover that the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources & Image Management (SEI) would be on my home campus, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this summer.  But while SEI will be a short commute for me, I encourage anyone from near or far to come to this terrific professional development opportunity.

 

I attended the 2013 SEI Conference and left knowing that anyone in digital assets management, especially in the uses of images, would benefit from attending in 2014.  The sessions are aimed at a spectrum of experience, from not-quite-beginner to expert.

 

 While I am in copyright, an extremely wide range of visual resource specialties, from preservation to imaging to cataloging, are included in the workshops.  Often one takes notes at workshops and then the notes sit on a shelf.  I refer constantly to the notes I took at SEI!  I’m still in touch with new friends I made there.  Not only do these long-distance colleagues share up-to-the-minute happenings in our field, they also—I notice on LinkedIn—inspire all of us in how they are progressing in their careers after SEI.

 

The Institute’s organizers know how to make attendees comfortable—snacks and yoga!—and facilitate that informal networking that makes thoughtful discussion with peers easy.

 

I know you will love the SEI 2014 Conference and will find Champaign-Urbana fun, too.  It’s nestled in the Illinois cornfields, but you’ll get to enjoy two downtowns for the price of one and find good restaurants, coffee hangouts, and evening entertainment in what we like to call a micro-urban environment.  See you there.

 

As Sarah mentions, this is a fantastic professional development opportunity in a fun and affordable location. There are a few spots still available, so register soon! 

 

On stock photography

Stock photography is a common means of providing visual content brochures, magazines, advertisements, etc. in order to enhance a textual point and engage viewers. The advantage of stock photography is that it is less expensive than a photo shoot, and it is instantly available through a number of vendors such as Getty Images and Corbis Images. For more stock photo options, check out the finding and using images subject guide.

Salad Woman

cable knit + salad = unstoppable!

Recently, Leanin.org and Getty images have announced a collaboration aimed at changing the way women are portrayed in stock photography. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and author of “Lean In,” is hoping that providing an image collection depicting alternative views of women and families will undermine current stereotypes.

“When we see images of women and girls and men, they often fall into the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome, and you can’t be what you can’t see,” Ms. Sandberg said in an interview (Miller 2014). As described in Miller’s article, Sandberg is referencing the stereotypes of women multitasking with briefcases and babies, wearing dated “power suits,” or cheerfully attending to children. The Lean In collection features women as “surgeons, painters, bakers, soldiers, and hunters. There are girls riding skateboards, women lifting weights and fathers changing babies’ diapers. Women in offices wear contemporary clothes and hairstyles and hold tablets or smartphones” (Miller 2014). Sandberg is not alone in recognizing stereotypes prevalent in stock photography; Emily Shornick and Edith Zimmerman have pulled together stock photography memes such as women laughing alone with salad.

“The initiative is particularly important right now, said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive of Getty, because of the surge of image-based communication that has arisen from smartphone cameras and sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram. Imagery has become the communication medium of this generation, and that really means how people are portrayed visually is going to have more influence on how people are seen and perceived than anything else,” Mr. Klein said” (Miller 2014).

With three of the most searched terms in Getty’s database being “women,” “business,” and “families,” this new collection of 2,500 images will quickly become relevant. Getty subscribers can search for relevant terms and see these images alongside the current collection, or they can specifically search Getty’s Lean In collection.

References:

Miller, Claire Cain. (2013, February 9). Leanin.org and Getty aim to change women’s portrayal in stock photos. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/business/leaninorg-and-getty-aim-to-change-womens-portrayal-in-stock-photos.html?_r=0

Fair Use Anxiety

The College Art Association has just released a new report titled “Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: an Issues Study.” This report is phase one of a four phase project originally motivated by “concerns about how the actual and perceived limitations of copyright can inhibit the creation and publication of new work in visual arts communities.” The ultimate goal of this project is to develop and disseminate a Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts.

While Colleen Flaherty provides an  excellent summary of the report for Inside Higher Ed, the more ambitious may choose to read the full report.

The Visual Resources Association published a statement on the fair use of images for teaching, research, and study in late 2011 which was endorsed by the College Art Association. For additional readings, Christine Sundt has aggregated numerous readings and codes of best practices in relation to fair use here.

Boudewijn de Groot

Boudewijn de Groot, probably thinking about fair use

New collections available in ARTstor

If you’re a frequent user of the ARTstor Digital Library, you might have noticed a few new institutional collections become available – specifically Landscape Architecture from the Bob Riley Collection and Modern and Contemporary Art from the Jonathan Fineberg Collection. 

Robert B. Riley graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in philosophy, and subsequently went on to study under Mies van der Rohe at MIT where he received his Bachelor of Architecture. After a decade of private practice, he entered Imageacademia, teaching at the University of New Mexico, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Melbourne, and Harvard University. He has served as chair of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Environmental Design Research Association, and the Board of Senior Research Fellows at Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University. He has been associate editor of Landscape and editor of Landscape Journal.

The images from his collection are drawn from his extensive collection amassed over fifty years of teaching and travel. While some are pulled from secondary sources, many are original to Professor Riley. The strength of this collection is its breadth and diversity, including the last three decades of professional landscape design from around the world, townscapes and landscapes from Hangzhou to St. Petersburg, classic European and Asian gardens, aerial views of settlement patterns and landscapes, and the popular and vernacular landscapes of North America.

ImageModern and Contemporary Art from the Jonathan Fineberg collection contains approximately 1,500 images of post World War Two art. Fineberg amassed a large personal collection of slides, predominantly in European and American art since 1850 but also including a broad range of other interests including child art, African art, architecture and pre 1850 European art. The University Library made a small selection for ARTstor consisting of original slides taken in certain artists’ studios and on several of the major temporary projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Jonathan Fineberg is Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Art History Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana and Trustee Emeritus at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. where he was founding director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art. http://www.jonathanfineberg.com He received his B.A. (1967) and Ph.D. (1975) from Harvard University and an M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art (1969) and studied psychoanalysis at the Boston and Western New England Psychoanalytic Institutes (1970-75, 1979-81). He received the College Art Association’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the History of Art in 2001. He created the 2 hour PBS documentary Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art (with John Carlin) and his major books include: Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being (Prentice-Hall 2010), The Innocent Eye: Children’s Art and the Modern Artist (Princeton 1997), Christo and Jeanne-Claude: On the Way to the Gates (Yale and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004), Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art (with John Carlin, Yale 2005), When We Were Young: New Perspectives on the Art of the Child (University of California Press, 2006); Alice Aycock: Drawings, Some Stories Are Worth Repeating (Yale, 2013); and A TroubIesome Subject: The Art of Robert Arneson (University of California Press, 2013). Forthcoming in 2014: Disquieting Memories: The Art of Zhang Xiaogang (Phaidon) and The Language of the Enigmatic Object: Modern Art at the Border of Mind and Brain – The Nebraska Presidential Lectures (University of Nebraska Press).

While these wonderful collections represent only a portion of the work and achievements of these two University of Illinois scholars, the contents are sure to be invaluable to researchers.

Welcome Home, Illini / the Noun Project

As we start the Fall semester, the Pixels team would first like to welcome incoming freshman as well as returning students and faculty. This semester promises to be an exciting one, kicking off with events such as Ellnora at the Krannert Center and new campus initiative such as the Center for a Sustainable Environment and the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. In addition, the University Library has been strengthening its services with more subject resources guides and instructional workshops (oh look, a guide to Ellnora!).

noun_project_14313

“Images” designed by Khanh Linh from The Noun Project

Campus happenings aside, there is a lot to be excited about in the digital collections realm as well. One such thing is The Noun Project, an online library consisting of symbols and representational icons. As described on its website, “The Noun Project is building a global visual language that everyone can understand. We want to enable our users to visually communicate anything to anyone.”

Users can search for various things (images, or tree) or concepScreen Shot 2013-09-03 at 11.51.48 AMts (running late, waking up) and then either download or purchase. Symbols uploaded to The Noun Project by various designers are licensed under Creative Commons licenses, allowing designers creative rights to own and share their own work while also promoting global collaboration in the creation of a common language. Read more about using symbols from The Noun Project here.

Recently The Noun Project hosted an “iconathon” with the Metropolitan New York  Library Council (METRO) to develop design cultural heritage symbols intended for use in institutions like libraries, archives and museums. More information about this, as well as a sampling of some of the symbols that were developed during the workshop, can be found here. These symbols are available to use under a Creative Commons public domain license.

If you’re not as excited about a symbol for digital preservation as I am, browse by collection or category to find your favorite.

ARTstor & Java Update

ARTstor is pleased to announce an update that will eliminate the need for Java in the ARTstor Digital Library. In the near future, single image downloads will be delivered in zip files.

ARTstor has been using Java for downloads of individual images, but recently the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began recommending that Java be disabled due to security concerns. After our update, users who download single image files will receive a zip file that contains a JPEG image and an HTML file with the associated metadata. In addition to removing the need for Java, using zip will allow ARTstor to pursue other feature enhancements, such as additional options for image group downloads.

For some users, mainly those on PCs, it will be necessary to install software such as 7Zip to unzip their downloads. ARTstor will be providing updated help documentation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact ARTStor’s User Services team at userservices@artstor.org.

Painting Show @Figure One Gallery, February 22nd 2013

Normally at pixels we like to post information related to digital content, but we’re making an exception to highlight the show of a very talented former VRC graduate assistant  who’s work you’ll be able to go see in real life! 

The MFA students here at the U of I produce amazingly creative bodies of work, and Dan is no exception. Dan received his BFA in painting from Indiana University Bloomington and is currently an MFA candidate (expected 2013) at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. His new body of work will be shown at Figure One in Champaign IL, with the closing reception this Friday, February 22nd,  from 6-9pm.

 

Who:

Dan Gratz: Holoscapes/Moving Mountains

Where: 

Image

2012
Oil on Canvas
24″x36″

Figure One Gallery

116 North Walnut

Champaign, Illinois 61820


When:

Wed: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Thu – Sat: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 

Friday, February 22, 2013. 6:00pm until 9:00pm. (Closing Reception)

 

Exhibition runs February 13 – March 01, 2013

Reception: Friday, February 22, 2013 6-9PM

trial access to Material ConneXion database until February 16th

Are you trying to invent the next big thing, but struggling to find a material that’s fire

"Crazy Lace" Applications include packaging, and interior wall coverings in retail, hospitality and commercial spaces

“Crazy Lace” Applications include packaging, and interior wall coverings in retail, hospitality and commercial spaces

resistant, biodegradable, and translucent? By searching the Material Connexion database, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs.

To access the trial database, click on this link.

Material ConneXion self-describes as “the world’s largest resource of new materials.” The Library houses over 7,000 advanced, sustainable and innovative materials representing eight categories: polymers, naturals, metals, glass, ceramics, carbon-based materials, cement-based materials, and processes.  It features truly cutting-edge materials and applications, including the world’s only collection of Cradle to Cradle sustainable materials.  Material ConneXion researches materials for all design disciplines: aerospace design; architecture; art; automobile design;  fashion design; graphic design; industrial design; interior design; landscape architecture; package design; product design; textiles; etc. While Material ConneXion has offices all over the world, the closes to Champaign-Urbana is in New York City. Fortunately, their online database provides material aficionados and researchers invaluable information from anywhere in the world.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library is currently offering its users a trial subscription, ending February 16th, 2013. While we hope to subscribe to this fantastic resource in the future, we need to first generate enough interest. Please tell us what you think.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.22.44 PMUsers can search for materials by keyword or MC# (if known), or can filter materials by properties such as sustainability, physical properties, and processing in the advanced search area. The search results provide images of the materials along with detailed material descriptions, usage characteristics, and manufacturer and distributor contact information, all written and compiled by the Material ConneXion staff of material specialists.

To learn more about the study of materials, enjoy the videos at the links below!

A library of new materials

Future Tech – Material ConneXion

Material (in a Digital) World

Rocco from MateriaWhile a completely tactile web might still be a long ways off, materials are finding a new home in digital interfaces. As learning, shopping, and other interactions are increasingly encountered through screens, how does the design, architecture or fine arts student encounter materials?

One answer is Materia. It is a freely-accessible, online material explorer. Anyone can scroll through emerging and green materials or use a faceted material, sensorial or property search. This Netherlands-based site makes it a little bit easier for students and practicing professionals to imagine the tactile-effect of raw building materials.

For something beyond a faceted online search, Material ConneXion might be of interest. They are an international group providing in person experience with sustainable and cutting edge building materials and textiles as well as a subscription-based database. While they have a US-based materials library in New York, they also have a service for academic institutions to lease or buy a curated selection of items to have on-site. The cost and rate of innovation of new materials is high, having an expert’s insight into what is worthwhile is invaluable. Check out the video over at ArchDaily for a whirlwind tour!

Discovering art on Art.sy

 Art.sy is an online art repository whose mission is “to make all the world’s art freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection”. Art.sy works with galleries and art institutions to collect art across many different movements and genres, and then users can peruse the collection.  This resource is compared to Internet radio Pandora, Pinterest, or Netflix in its ability to browse the content on Art.sy. The site was launched on October 8th, 2012, and has over 17,000 artworks posted so far.

Art meets technology through the Art Genome Project, an organization that codes the characteristics of an artwork and creates relationships between different pieces to make searching for similar art a possibility. Users can manipulate the search filter to bring up results based on the medium. color, or size of the piece. Users may not download any of the images.

Art.sy is a good place for art appreciators to discover new art. For more information on how Art.sy is mapping art on the web, check out this article by The New York Times.

ARTtube: videos about art and design

Welcome back to the start of a new semester. We hope you’ve all had fun and relaxing summers, and are ready to start the year fresh.

To ease you into your scholarly pursuits, we present you with ARTtube. Like Youtube, ARTtube is a collection of short videos that you may find fun and addicting. Unlike Youtube, however, the videos are strictly related to art and design, and are educational in nature (sorry, no keyboard cats here).

For ARTtube, five Dutch museums (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam,Gemeentemuseum, The Hague,Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, M HKA, and De Pont)  have partnered to create videos that contain interviews with leading artists, designers, and curators, sneak peaks into exhibitions, and an inside look into art restoration. The videos posted to the site are a great way to learn about the museums and their collections. To learn more about ARTtube, click here.

Europeana on Pininterest

Europeana on PininterestIf we’ve got you hooked on Europeana Exhibitions, you might also want to check out the visually striking collections that have resulted from Pinterest collaborations with Europeana partners. According to the June 2012 Europeana Newsletter,  Europeana has recently  teamed up with five leading European galleries, libraries, archives and museums to curate Pinterest boards using content available through Europeana. “Together with the Biblioteca de Catalunya, Varna Public Library, the Swedish National Heritage Board, The Swedish Royal Armoury and the University of Barcelona, Europeana has explored diverse themes that range from posters from the Spanish Civil War and picturesque postcards of the Black Sea, to stunning illustrations from primatologist Jordi Sabater Pi.”

A walk on the wild side

Cat pictures are fun and all, but sometimes they leave a bit to be desired.

Dali and his Ocelot

If only Dali’s ocelot was a LOL(wild)cat…

We think we have found what that something is. In honor of the end of the semester and last-minute procrastination we present: Wild Pets! Who cares how easy it is to confuse a cat with a laser pointer when you can see Audrey Hepburn grocery shopping with her pet deer! a snake on a leash! or a toucan taking a bath!

We found the Wild pets photo collection on Retronaut. Organized by decade from the 1800s to WWII there is a collection of (completely decontextualized) images around nearly every theme you can think of.

Warning: this site is enough to keep even the most looming final paper at bay.

Historic Detroit

While I’ve never visited Detroit, browsing through the 180 galleries of buildings and monuments on Historic Detroit makes it seem as familiar to me as my own hometown.

The Alexander Macomb Monument is unveiled in 1908. Photo from the Burton Historical Collection.

 

Founded in June 2011 by Dan Austin, author of “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City’s Majestic Ruins” and former writer, photographer, researcher and webmaster behind the Detroit history site BuildingsofDetroit.com, Historic Detroit serves as a collaborative platform for users to share images and memories of Detroit’s architecture.

Visitors to the site can either search or browse through by place, or sort their results by architect. All contributors to the site maintain full rights on their submissions.

Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece

If you liked Google’s Art Project but found yourself disappointed that it didn’t include the Ghent Altarpiece, you may have a psychic connection with the Getty Foundation. Like the Art Project, “Closer to Van Eyck…” offers users extreme close up views of the work. The website presents the results from “Lasting Support,” an interdisciplinary research project aiming to assess the structural condition of the Ghent Altarpiece. In addition to high resolution images, users may also view the surface beneath the paint via infrared reflectography (IRR) and x-radiography. Read more about project Lasting Support here.

T. Enami and Japanese photography in the Meiji / Taisho Era

T. Enami. The Tea Pickers. ca. 1905-1920

While cleaning out the Visual Resources Center this past summer, I came across a gorgeous set of  hand-painted lantern slides. The subject matter was Japanese landscapes and everyday scenes, but beyond that there was no information about who the artist was, when these slides were created, or where they may have come from. I wanted to digitize them, but first I needed more information. These slides remained in the back of my mind for the better part of 6 months, until yesterday when I used Tineye and stumbled upon a goldmine.

Flickr user Okinawa_Soba has digitized and made available hundreds of images made by

T. Enami. Mount Fuji and Boatmen in the Early Morning Light. On the Shore of Lake Yamanaka. Ca.1907.

T. Enami, a Japanese photographer active ca. 1892-1929. Scanned from original lantern slides, prints, stereoviews, and postcards, the collection is organized into sets by either medium (stereoviews, halftone, etc.) or subject matter (post 1923 Japan, squatting geisha, etc.). While the Flickr site is informative, with each set and image accompanied by a description, Okinawa_Soba points viewers to a website he created focused on the life and work of T. Enami. A lot of the text from the Flickr collection is duplicated from the website (or visa-versa), though the website seems to be more comprehensive in terms of information about Enami’s life and studio. One caveat is that it is difficult to determine the source of this information.

If you’ve gone through both the Flickr collection and website and still find yourself wanting more T. Enami, Okinawa_Soba directs users to collections at the bottom of the T. Enami collection on Flickr. It is explained, however, that many of the images are not posted on line or may be wrongly attributed.

All images are available for non-commercial use, with proper attribution. If you’d like to see some of the lantern slides in person, stop by the Visual Resources Center in 210a architecture!

Wiki Loves Art Nouveau

the interior of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest taken by Csaba Attila Kontar

Wiki Loves Art Nouveau is a collaboration between Wiki Loves Monuments and Europeana, in which crowd-sourced photo submissions are paired with informational content to create an interactive online exhibition that explores the Art Nouveau movement. Europeana sponsored an Art Nouveau category in the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest, and from a pool of 2,600 submissions viewed 16,000 times by 700 voters, the winning image of the interior of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest taken by Csaba Attila Kontar was selected. The winning image along with forty other highly ranked photographs and an additional ten selected by a panel of European editors have been combined to create this online exhibition.The exhibition explores the Art Nouveau movement through four thematic micro exhibits, three of which are format based and one that features supplemental images and thematic exploration selected by the editors. The formats explored include exteriors, interiors, and details creating an over-arching emphasis on the way that technological innovation enabled artists, architects and designers to pursue unified exteriors, interiors, and decorative elements. Attention is paid to recurring design motifs drawn from nature and the gravitation towards undulating non-linear elements as a rejection of the existing neoclassical conventions.

The exhibition is smartly structured – it provides a thorough introduction to the style with ample illustration that explains the movements theoretical substance while allowing users unfamiliar with Art Nouveau to grasp its aesthetic execution. At the same time, the structured presentation of the images and text creates a systematic argument for the cohesiveness of the style and the thoroughness with which it was applied in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exhibition focuses on Art Nouveau as a stylistic break with tradition and a reaction against convention visible in everything from its non-geometric architecture to the use of gold decoration and lighting to evoke a whimsical other-worldliness. The exhibition manages to stress the hallmarks of the style in a structured and systematic way without reducing it to a formula. For a more comprehensive history and exploration of the style, see Europeana’s other Art Nouveau virtual exhibition

.

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.

Subject sorting in Google Images: Because Google hasn’t mastered mind-reading yet

In case you aren’t already aware, Google Images has a ‘Sort by Subject’ feature on its results page – it’s the kind of left-margin item that can go easily unnoticed, but for the utility it provides, it should 80 pt. font and flashing. When you conduct a Google images search the default display (bolded and in red) is ‘All results’. The alternative view is ‘By Subject’ which breaks down your results into the most popular images associated with your search. It’s the ideal tool for those, “I can picture it, I just don’t remember what it’s called” searches.

Try it out, but more importantly keep it in mind for those moments when you really need Google to do your remembering for you.

The Lyonel Feininger Archive

Lyonel Feininger : Photographs, 1928-1939

Harvard’s Houghton Library and the Harvard Art Museum’s Lyonel Feininger Archive have collaborated to create an online research microsite presenting a comprehensive collection of Feininger’s largely un-seen photographic works. Harvard holds the majority of Feininger’s photographs, with some 500 photographic prints at the Houghton Library and approximately 18,000 negatives and slides in the Feininger Archive. All of this material has now been digitized and made available through a searchable database, located at the Lyonel Feininger Research Microsite – one of four such microsites created and maintained by Harvard.
The Busch Reisinger Museum at Harvard recently held two exhibitions featuring the work of Lyonel Feininger. The catalog for the photographic exhibition, Lyonel Feininger : photographs, 1928-1939 (Harvard Art Museums, 2011) is now available at the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art. The exhibitions, “Lyonel Feininger: Drawings and Watercolors from the William S. Lieberman Bequest to the Busch-Reisinger Museum” and “Lyonel Feininger: Photographs, 1928–1939″ ran from February 26 to July 17 before traveling abroad. They represented Harvard’s extensive holdings of Feininger’s work, in particular his photographs – which had never before been exhibited.

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) is well-known as a painter and an important contributor to the Bauhaus and German modern art. His long-term engagement with photography has never previously been explored. In the exhibition catalog for his photographic work, it is speculated that Feininger did not pursue photography more publicly because of his sons’ enthusiasm for the medium. Both of Feininger’s sons, Andreas and T. Lux made careers as photographers and writers on photography.

Harvard’s Feininger Microsite is the first widely accessible presentation of Feininger’s photography and it represents an enormous asset to Feininger researchers and enthusiasts. The content of the site was compiled and by Nathan J. Timpano (2009–2010 Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow, Busch-Reisinger Museum) and the commentary and biographical information is drawn from the exhibition catalog organized byLaura Muir (assistant curator, Busch-Reisinger Museum). The site allows users to search the collection by text, title, object number, date range, medium, subject and/or creation place. Additionally, given the low-profile nature of this collection and the presumed unfamiliarity of the user, the site offers an extremely useful feature wherein they can browse characteristic slideshows of prominent subjects within the collection. These include, ‘art documentation’, ‘Bauhaus’, ‘Trips to California’, ‘New England’ and ‘shop windows’ among others. Each of these subject slide shows bears an informational excerpt about the work presented. The site is smartly designed, easy to use, and the photographs are breathtaking.

With the Feininger exhibitions, catalog, and research microsite, Harvard has presented an interesting model where artistic collections, archival resources, and resident experts have been brought together to steward, curate, publish and develop new tools that act as both promotional tools for the museum and research tools for the University.

The Doodle Revolution

If you ever find yourself doodling during class or in a meeting, don’t feel

17 Ideas for Content Creation, by Veronica Maria Jarski

guilty. According to Sunni Brown, it’s one of the most productive things you can be doing. An avid visual literacy advocate, Sunni is best known for large-scale strategic doodles and Gamestorming, a book that outlines visual thinking techniques for business. She is also a TED speaker and conversationalist.

The Doodle Revolution website features examples of large scale doodles done organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and TEDGlobal 2011 in Edinburgh, as well as a toolkit, information on bootcamps and webinars, and a doodle showcase. I found the toolkit to be especially informative, as it contains lists of books, videos, articles, and slides that direct users to more information on visual thinking and visual literacy. While I have been thinking of visual literacy in terms of interpreting meaning from an object that someone else, such as Jacob Riis, has created, I neglected to realize that one’s own ‘doodles’ can be important forms of scholarship and communication.

The History of the World in 100 Objects

Two-Headed Serpent, detail
While doing some research earlier today, I came across a fascinating project undertaken by the British Museum called “The History of the World in 100 Objects.” Many of you may already be familiar with this project, as I’ve come to find out the results of this project were broadcast on the BBC throughout 2010 as well as in a book that was published a mere 4 days ago.

For those of you not familiar with this project, its goal was to tell the history of the world through 100 objects found in the British Museum’s sprawling collections. Taking 100 curators 4 years to complete, the results include objects that embody themes ranging to political power to everyday life. To coincide with the project, the public was invited to share stories of objects that hold significance to them.

100 objects to tell the history of the world is a daunting task to be sure, but it raises some important questions. Why is one object more important than another? Are aesthetics or usefulness considered more important? What are these objects telling us now that may not have been appreciated in its time?

If you’d like to start your own “100 Objects” project, you can do so in ARTstor by creating image groups. If you’d like to make this a class assigment, you can do so by either creating a folder that your students can edit, or creating a folder that has student folders enabled.

More resources:

Stuff that Defines Us by Carol Vogel

History of the World in 100 Objects Slideshow by the New York Times

Ando Hiroshige Prints

Odawara

Odawara - the tenth station in "The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido"( Hoeido edition 1831 - 1834)

The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige is an enthusiast-maintained site that reproduces the woodblock prints of Ando Hiroshige (1797 – 1858).

The site combines digital images of Hiroshige’s prints with descriptions, dates, and abundant contextual material including primary source excerpts, maps, encyclopedic entries, book passages, and comparable works by other artists. The site presents a rich resource on the life and work of Ando Hiroshige and can be accessed freely online by anyone.

A timeline of updates made to the site creates a timeline of the site’s development, while the main page of the site presents directories of Hiroshige’s prints and the reference material used in constructing the site. The reference section includes a bibliography, a guide to searching for Japanese prints online, a digest of links that are related or useful to Hiroshige, a breakdown of the dimensions of different prints, essays, biographies, and more. The prints are organized by series (which usually explore a single subject) as well as format and theme.

The site design is simple and straight forward, if text-heavy at times, but it manages to present an enormous amount of material and a wealth of resources related to Hiroshige’s prints. The site is a valuable resource for Hiroshige enthusiasts and scholars alike and sets a fantastic example for similar projects.

‘Friends of art’ seeks to crowdsource the history of art

Gustav Klimt's "Farmhouse with Birch Trees"
“Farmhouse with Birch Trees” by Gustav Klimt (1903)

‘Friends of art’ (FOA) self identifies as, “a young community of art enthusiasts who are re-writing art history”. Currently in the beta stage, FOA invites users to contribute and curate content about artists, movements, and individual pieces. Users can register with the site to create a profile, build personal collections, and designate favorite artists, pieces, and movements.

In addition to using the site to develop and expand your own knowledge, as a FOA user, your activity is reflected in the records. When a piece has been added to a user’s collection, that collection is cited in the record as a way of capturing and communicating to other users the way someone else responded to or learned from the work. In this way, FOA creates a kind of social network that revolves around the art presented and discussed on the site.

Each record invites comments, revisions, tagging, and sharing as means of involving the user, but they also include images of the piece and the artist as well as basic information about the piece. The site pairs a spare aesthetic with a proliferation of images in order to create a highly browsable environment. The records also offer a ‘palette’ for each work, where the piece’s color palette is characterized, distilled and presented as a collection of 10 different shades. The site also includes search functions and a timeline of artistic movements. The breadth, depth, and variety of the resources and functionality of FOA strike a balance that makes it easy for users to search, browse, and interact with art history in a new way.

Visual Resource Center debuts website

Ever feel like you’ve run out of internet to browse? You’ve checked your email, gotten up to date on your Facebook news, and did the latest NY Times Crossword online. What next?

Hop on over to the new Visual Resources Center’s website and learn all about ARTstor, copyright, and digital images. Our new site offers links to ARTstor trainings and handouts for your convenience, as well as information on finding, creating, editing, presenting, and preserving images. In addition, visitors to the site can peruse links related to copyright information, download workflow automator tools, and discover other new resources such as Tineye. You can even “like” us on Facebook to have this blog in your newsfeed, or visit our Youtube channel where we will be posting video tutorials (still a work in progress).

Feel free to leave comments with suggestions for other resources to include on the site. It is meant to be a useful resource for the campus community, and we are always looking to improve.

the Memory of the Netherlands

Welcome back, students, faculty, and staff! We hope your fall semester is off to a delightful start.

For those of you with an interest in Netherlandish history, I’m about to make your week even more delightful. The Memory of the Netherlands is a self-described “gigantic digital treasury,” full of information about the Dutch past. Offering hundreds of thousands of digital images, recordings, film footage, and texts, the Memory site organizes this wealth of information into several exhibitions, collections, and themes.

While you’ll still find images of windmills, wooden shoes and tulips are few and far between. Rather, the Memory site provides well thought out exhibitions that explore life in Holland today and themes that range from religion to cartoons.

While the Memory site is largely in English and searchable using English keywords, information about the images and other objects are in Dutch.

Center for Multimedia Excellence media survey

If you haven’t filled out the Center for Multimedia Excellence’s campus media survey yet, what are you waiting for? It takes 5-10 minutes, and the results will help to improve campus media accessibility, management, and preservation. You may remember reading about this through a Mass Mail sent by the Vice Chancellor of Research, but just in case you don’t, it’s re-posted below.

“To: Faculty and Staff:

The Data Stewardship Initiative and the Center for Multimedia Excellence are working jointly to identify multimedia collections to better understand management and preservation requirements on campus. The groups will contact faculty and staff to help the campus more clearly understand the needs of researchers, multimedia producers and archivists.

We ask that you participate in these efforts by responding to a brief online survey . This survey seeks to identify collections of audio, film, video, and still images of value for research, instructional, and outreach purposes.

A more detailed census of media collections will follow, conducted through interviews and visits to buildings across campus by students from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. In addition, the Data Stewardship Initiative will conduct a second survey focused on non-media based research data holdings on campus later this spring.

The Data Stewardship Initiative consists of the University Library, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and other campus stakeholders. It was created in response to the Stewarding Excellence at Illinois report that recommended that the campus develop a baseline understanding of the activities and needs for data services, curation, and stewardship. Details are available here.

The Center for Multimedia Excellence, comprised of campus multimedia professionals, seeks to identify individuals and campus units that hold digital and analog media collections in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for the preservation of media used for research and non-research purposes. Details are available here.

These efforts are vital to the University’s research, education, and public engagement missions. Increasingly, funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation are requiring grant recipients to better manage and provide access to data generated by projects.

Even when not required, long-term data storage and accessibility are useful to researchers who generate data, as well as to scholars who later use the data in their own work. As a major research university, we must identify ways to improve the ability of our researchers to access and store data, and we must develop a comprehensive strategy to preserve and share our rich multimedia collections here at Illinois.”

CITES Teaching with technology forum

For anyone interested in finding and using digital images for teaching or research, there is a “brown bag” lunchtime talk coming up this Wednesday (the 23rd of February) that will be discussing ARTstor. The information is as follows:

Teaching with Technology Brown Bag Forum–Wednesday, February 23 (12-1pm) at 23 Illini Hall

All Things Images: Using ARTstor for Teaching and Research, Presented by: Sarah Christensen, Visual Resources, and Anne D. Hedeman, Art History

With the need for digital images becoming more prevalent in classrooms, ARTstor can be a useful resource in finding, organizing, sharing, and presenting these images. As a digital image library, ARTstor contains images from a wide variety of disciplines outside of art, so don’t let the name fool you! Sarah Christensen will discuss how to make the features of ARTstor work for you, while Anne D. Hedeman will demonstrate how she utilizes ARTstor in her Compass course site.

If you can’t attend, the talk will be recorded and posted online shortly after. That link will be posted here as well.

 

Hope you can make it!

Graphics Atlas

Ever wonder what  the difference is between an engraving and an etching? Graphics Atlas, a project of the Image Permanence Institute, will show you. With this tool, users can compare different printing techniques side by side and learn about the methods used for each technique. In addition, the site features fantastic visual tools such as the ability to zoom in and out, flip the page over, see a side view, and change the light source. The mediums discussed range from pre-photogenic (etchings, mezzotints) to digital.

Rome in a day

The Architecture department at the University of Oregon has developed two useful interactive mapping tools of Rome. The first, the interactive Nolli map of Rome, is a digitization of the 1748 map of Rome by Giambattista Nolli. This map is regarded by scholars as one of the most important historical documents of the city, and through the work of the University of Oregon the public now has access to this work. Users can zoom in and out, as well as add layers such as gardens, pathways, and fountains.

The second project is Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome, which integrates the Nolli map with the work of Nolli’s contemporary, Giuseppe Vasi (1710-1782). Vasi’s detailed documentation of Rome’s buildings and monuments established him as one of the city’s greatest topographers. With this tool users can view Nolli’s map and Vasi’s plates simultaneously, making it easier to imagine Rome in the 18th century. Plates are grouped into 8 days of an itinerary, making the grand tour of Rome accessible from your couch.

Friday diversions

Google’s Keyword Guessing Game is a fun way to think about image indexing, keyword relevancy, and finding images online. The game asks you to think of the keyword that produced the grid of 20 images shown. You have 20 seconds to guess the keyword, but extra points are awarded for speed. View How to Play for some tips.

The game is developed by Grant Robinson, who is working on other projects such as Montage-a-google or Make It-Share It. More information can be found on his blog.

Making flashcards in ARTstor

Spending hours making flashcards for exams? Why not let ARTstor do the work for you. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

1. Register for an ARTstor account and login. If you don’t know how to register for an account, watch this video.

2. Once you are logged in, search for the images you’ll need to study. If your instructor posts their lecture images in ARTstor, find them by clicking on the “folders and image groups” link in the middle of  the main page and scanning the list for your class.

3. Once you’ve found the images you’ll need, select them by single clicking on each one. A red border will appear around the ones that you’ve selected. To deselect, single click on the image again so that the border goes away.

4. Once your images are selected, go to the  organize menu at the top of the page and go to “save selected images to…” Here you can either create a new image group, or add images to an existing image group.

5. When the pop-up screen appears to ask you where you want to save your image group, make sure your work group is highlighted.

6. Once you have selected a name and destination for your image group, click on “save and open.”

7. Now that you’ve opened your image group, go to the share menu at the top of the page and click on “print image group.” You’ll have your choice of how much information you want on your flashcards.

8. Once you make your selection, a new window will pop up displaying your flash cards. Here, you can print them out. Make sure that your pop-up windows are disabled when using ARTstor.

brief record with instructor notes