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Thursday, March 29 • 10:15am - 11:30am
Session: Digital, Visual, Tactile: Expanding Access to Specialized Collections

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  • Jackie Spafford, Image Resources Curator, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Arden Kirkland, Digital Project Consultant, HistoricDress.org
  • Allan Kohl, Visual Resources Librarian, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
  • Kerry Sullivan, Head of the Photoarchive Department, Frick Art Reference Library

VRA’s first session comprised of independently submitted individual papers brings together three very different projects around a fortuitously convergent theme:  using digital images and rich metadata to lead users to actual objects, thereby facilitating direct user experience with cultural materials.  This session will present three approaches to expanding access to collections, each project recognizing the importance of the original, physical works being represented.

First, learn how the Frick Art Reference Library is systematically digitizing its photo archive collection of more than 1.1 million research photographs and other reproductions of works of art, including extensive accompanying documentation about the works of art. This work is being done through both in-house and outsourced efforts. Materials that have been digitized and cataloged are available through the Frick Digital Collections and the sites for the NYARC catalog (NYARC Discovery, Arcade and FRESCO) and will be made accessible through the PHAROS International Consortium of Photo Archives.

Next, find out about how the HistoricDress.org project has fostered experimentation with new ways of cataloging, encoding, representing, and searching historic clothing and related archival materials. The project has included the development of a CostumeCore to supplement existing standards such as VRA Core, Dublin Core, Cataloging Cultural Objects, the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, and the European Fashion Thesaurus as they are applied specifically to artifacts related to historic clothing. Implementation in both Omeka and Shared Shelf attempts to better represent the structure and context of the original objects.

Finally, experience how the historic materials collection in the MCAD Library provides specimens -- such as Egyptian papyrus scrolls, an authentic parchment manuscript page, marble from the quarries used to provide the stone for the Parthenon, and an 1850s daguerreotype — for direct experience using all of a student’s senses, especially touch, along with close visual inspection.  This collection gives art and design students “hands-on” encounters with cultural objects to gain a deeper understanding of the materials, tools, processes, and techniques used to create historic works of art, while complementing students’ experience of these works as aesthetic objects through photographic reproductions.

Thursday March 29, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Washington A