Development of a digital image archive and database for Art and Art History instruction and research

John Taormina; Curator of Visual Resources; Art, Art History & Visual Resources

Project Description

The Art & Art History Department sought grant funding to begin the process of formal digitization and online access to images for use in teaching Western Art survey courses. The project included in-house and outsourced digitization of slides in the collection, purchase of digital images through subscription and licensing, and creation of metadata to accompany the images for search and retrieval. In addition, the project included a joint project with Duke Libraries to pilot the use of Luna Insight image management software for accessing and using the images.

The transition to digital of slide collections has been an emerging issue for Art History departments and the CIT grant was intended to facilitate this process. By creating a digital slide collection, the department hoped to increase access to digital images by faculty teaching classes and create more flexibility in working with images in courses. The Luna Insight software provided the ability for faculty to create custom collections for study by students and easily arrange material for lectures and other classroom activities.

In the second phase of the project, started in Spring 2004, development of the Wester Art survey image archive continued and digitization and acquisition of images to support teaching in the areas of Asian Art and introductory graphic design were added. The Library and the Art Department tested the Luna Insight software and the images were transferred to a new system, MDID@Duke, that is currently being used by Art & Art History for the collections. As of Fall 2007, creation of metadata and digitization of slides from the collection continues using funding originally provided as part of this CIT grant; Art & Art History courses in Fall 2007 will be testing MDID software as an access tool for the collections.

Additional participants

  • Stanley Abe, Associate Professor, Chinese Art,Theory & Criticism (phase 1)
  • Mark Antliff, Professor, 20th Century Art, Theory & Criticism (phase 2)
  • Anya Belkina, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts, Drawing & Computer Graphics (phase 2)
  • Caroline Bruzelius, Anne M. Cogan Professor, Medieval Architecture & Sculpture, History of France & Italy Architectural History Medieval, Renaissance, and Islamic Art (phase 2)
  • Sheila Dillon, Associate Professor of Art History, Greek & Roman Art and Classical Studies (phase 1)
  • Jack Edinger, Staff, Art and Art History (phase 2)
  • Patricia Leighton, Professor, Late 19th and Early 20th Century Art, History of Photography, Theory & Criticism (phase 2)
  • Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor, European Art 1780-1900, French Sculpture, History of Art Criticism (phase 2)
  • Richard Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor, American, Afro-American and African Art (phase 1 & 2)
  • Hans van Miegroet, Professor, Early Modern Art (Department Chair) (phase 1 & 2)
  • Annabel Wharton, William B. Hamilton Professor, Early Christian and Byzantine Art & Architecture, Modern Architecture (phase 2)

Project start date: 8/01/2002
Funding awarded: $14,400 (Phase 1, Fall 2002), $30,034 (Phase 2, Spring 2004)