All Things Visual: The University of Chicago Visual Resources Center

Personal Image Managment

The VRC supports the creation of high-quality digital images and associated metadata for inclusion in our LUNA image database. LUNA provides a good web interface for viewing, grouping, and downloading images (it even has the ability to export images to Powerpoint). The VRC also supports university access to ARTstor, a subscription database with 1.5 million+ digital images. We hope that you’ll make use of these two excellent web discovery tools when possible—and please feel free to provide feedback to us on what you’d like to see added to LUNA!

However, we do recognize that LUNA and ARTstor may not be adequate for managing/manipulating VRC image requests and their associated data. Some faculty, students and instructors prefer to manage their own offline image management system that can include both VRC requests, ARTstor images, and images that are obtained elsewhere. Some instructors would also like to be able to manipulate data to make searching easier, including the bulk addition of keywords, course information, etc. This is where a personal image management system can really quite useful.

We’ve laid out some recommendations for image management software and some other miscellaneous ideas for you to consider. And we’re always happy to consult with you and demonstrate how each of these different systems work, so feel free to contact us with questions or to set up an appointment.

Some things to think about when choosing an image management system …


Adobe Bridge



portfolio portfolio data


CamScanner: If you need to quickly make PDFs of documents and you don’t have a scanner (portable or otherwise), use CamScanner on your iPhone or Android device’s camera to take photographs that are converted to multi-page PDFs which you can then email to yourself or others.

To help back up your images regularly, look into options to get free (or nearly free) space in the cloud to save images and data include Amazon Cloud Drive,, Dropbox, or the Google Drive associated with your UChicago Google Apps account.

A good resource for Preserving Your Digital Images.

And for information about photographing works of art on research trips and editing those images, please see our guide on Photographing Art, Editing Images, and Digital Camera Recommendations.

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