The Penn Museum in Philadelphia, the University of Pennslyvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, recently launched two new digital endeavors for researchers.
The newly revamped Collections Database includes more than 690,000 objects and more than 95,000 images. The database records are robust, with links to related objects and bibliographic citations of where the image has been published.
The Penn Museum also allows users to download data files of its object records under a Creative Commons license. You can download datasets on all objects or by cultural group, including African, American, Asian, Egyptian, European, Historic, Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and Oceanian. The datasets include physical information, its provenance, and materialiaty but not images of the objects and the objects’ publication and exhibition histories.
The Research Map and Timeline provides interactive documentation and information about the museum’s research expeditions and projects since the 1880s. Users can browse projects geographically or chronologically, and the website provides a record of the dates, researchers, and time period studied as well as a brief description of the work done and key discoveries.
VADS (from The University for the Creative Arts in England) is an incredible collection of more than 120,000 images of art and design from cultural institutions across the UK, including universities, libraries, museums, and archives.
Collections included are the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection (which we previously blogged about!), the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, Oxford Portraits from the University of Oxford, Paper Patterns from the London College of Fashion, and Posters of Conflict from the Imperial War Museum.
Recently, 177 images from the Glasgow School of Art’s student publication called The Magazine (1893–86) have been digitized and made available via VADS.
For more information, check out The Magazine collection or read the press release about it.
Image: Agnes Raeburn, The Magazine, April 1894, cover. Copyright Glasgow School of Art.
Princeton University holds a stellar collection of modern sculpture by artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Gehry, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Louis Comfort Tiffany to name only a few. These works are installed on Princeton’s campus, and the Princeton University Art Museum recently launched a new mobile website called Campus Art to facilitate users who wish to explore their outdoor works in situ.
The website explains the goal of the web project:
Campus Art at Princeton enhances the educational and visceral experience of art and sculpture on campus for students, the local community, and visitors alike. Visitors can hear the voices of Museum curators and experts involved behind the scenes, including fabricators, installers, conservators, and photographers. For some of the works, architects and historians contextualize the art in relation to surrounding architecture and University history. Users can browse a light box of images or take walking tours using an interactive map divided into five campus neighborhoods. As new works are installed and new perspectives added, the site will continue to evolve.
The website allows users to browse through thumbnails of installation photography, by artist name, or by “neighborhood” (the five different geographic areas of Princeton’s campus). The record for each artwork in the collection includes robust data about the work, some historical context, a map of its location, and an audio file of a curator narrating something significant about the work.
For more information, explore Princeton’s Campus Art project.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a consortium of libraries that are digitizing materials pertaining to biodiversity within their collections. While the majority of the digital collection contains text and scientific literature, the books and historic journals and albums the BHL is digitizing often contain high quality natural history images.
The BHL is pulling the images from their digital library and hosting them online in Flickr, with minimal metadata in the Flickr record and a link back to the official record in the BHL digital library for a full catalog record. There are more than 1,600 sets of images in the BHL’s Flickr collection, making it a fantastically rich resource for natural history images in the public domain.
For more information, check out the BHL Flickr page!
Image from Flore médicale /. Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1828-1832.
In mid-October, the Getty Research Institute’s Special Collections announced that it has added 5,400 artwork images from special collections to the Open Content Program, which brings the total number of images that are freely available without copyright restrictions to more than 10,000.
The newly added content includes “artist’ sketchbooks, drawings and watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks, and early photographs of the Middle East and Asia.” For example, there are more than thirty early photographs from Mayan archaeological sites.
For more information, check out our previous blog post on the Getty’s Open Content Program, or explore the 10,000 public domain images here!
Via The Getty Iris
Image: [Nunnery complex (Uxmal, Mexico): detail of facade frieze], 1882, GRI Digital Collections, 94-F125.
160 objects from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation‘s collections are now available in the Google Art Project, and include paintings, furniture, silver, Chinese export porcelain, as well as ceramics, prints, maps, textiles, and numismatics.
For more information, check out the Colonial Williamsburg collection in Google Art!
Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored De Bry Engravings of 1590 is a resource from UNC Libraries that presents the digitized engravings Theodore De Bry (1528–98) illustrated for A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. These hand-colored engravings were based on the watercolors of John White, who became part of the first British colony in North America, which was established off the coast of what is now North Carolina in 1585. Although the colonists were only there for about a year, White painted the environment and people of North America.
In 1588, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia was published, containing stories and descriptions about the new land. De Bry worked directly from John White’s watercolors to create 27 engravings for the illustrated edition to create what would be the first published images of Native Americans. However, the digital collection notes:
While the De Bry engravings shown on this site represent the earliest published images of Native Americans, viewers should be careful not to interpret these as accurate depictions of the inhabitants of North Carolina in the late sixteenth century. The images shown here are twice removed from John White’s original watercolors. In the engravings created by Theodore De Bry, there are many subtle but significant changes from White’s originals: the facial structure of most of the people has been altered, resulting in portraits that look more like Europeans; the musculature on most of the people is much more defined in the De Bry engravings; and the poses of many of the subjects seem to reflect classical statuary. The colorist for this volume has contributed to the distortion of the original images by adding a pale skin tone and blonde hair to some of the people and decorating much of the vegetation in colors that are unlike anything that occurs naturally in this part of the world.
For more information and to explore the digital collection, visit Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored De Bry Engravings of 1590.
We’ve been covering the news about Artsy since its launch in October 2012 and the announcement earlier this month that it is releasing more than 25,000 images for download. Their next big move is the debut of an iPhone app that takes full advantage of many features in the newly released iOS 7.
The Artsy App is free to downloaded and is updated daily. Currently, it contains more than 50,000 high quality images of artworks that can be searched or browsed across several categories, including subject matter, medium/technique, and style and movement. The app also contains up-to-date information about art world happenings, including exhibitions, art fairs, and auctions.
You can take advantage of the new Parallax feature in iOS 7, which helps Artsy’s feature “View in Room” to engage with artworks as if they were in a gallery setting. Users can also email works of art, save, copy, and print directly from within the app.
We’ve installed the Artsy App on the VRC’s iPad, so feel free to check it out on your own or swing by the VRC to see ours!
In July, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts launched a new digital collections website in eMuseum, which allows users to view more than 4,000 of the museum’s works online. The museum focuses on “American painting, sculpture, and ceramics; American and European works on paper (16th century and later); and photography.”
To explore the KIA’s 4,200 works on the web, search or browse their Collections website. The website allows users to view an enlarged version of the work and provides basic catalog records.
For more information on eMuseum, visit our previous blog post on the topic, or conduct a federated search on the collections of more than 600 cultural institutions that host their collections in Gallery Systems’ eMuseum software.
The Art Institute of Chicago‘s digital collections database offers a feature called “My Collections” that allows users to do several things:
- Create a user profile and log in
- Search for and select works of art from their web collection
- Create multiple My Collections and choose which one you want to save an image to
- Personalize My Collections by adding descriptive notes
- Share My Collections with others via an emailed link (and people you’ve shared My Collections with will be able to see your notes!)
For more information, read about My Collections or explore the Art Institute’s Online Collections.