VRC COVID-19 Update

Dear Art History,

Echoing the sentiments of Alyssa’s earlier email, we sincerely hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this exceptionally stressful time. 

As of today, the Visual Resources Center will be closed until April 15. VRC Digitization Lab services, such as image digitization requests and equipment reservations, are temporarily suspended. While VRC staff are currently prioritizing the pedagogical and technological support of remote teaching in Art History, we remain absolutely committed to fulfilling our core services, many of which can further support instructors and their students with remote teaching. To that end, the VRC is currently working on the following:

  • Coordinating with College IT, ITS, and ATS on shifting to remote teaching and serving on the Working Group on Online Instruction in Arts & Humanities
  • Maintaining the in-house guide to teaching remotely, “VRC Notes on Shifting to Remote Teaching in Art History
  • Providing one-on-one and small group Zoom training for the Art History community
  • Providing pedagogical consultations to instructors for adapting their syllabus, course learning goals, and assignments to a remote environment. We are extremely grateful to Cosette Bruhns, PhD Candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures, who generously turned her VRC digital collections position into a digital pedagogy position and is sharing her wealth of digital teaching expertise with this community

We continue to offer our users the following existing resources and services in a remote capacity, but without interruption:

  • Fulfilling Image Purchase Requests from vendors and sourcing relevant images from digital collections (we can remotely add these new images to Luna)
  • Assisting with Canvas maintenance: VRC staff are automatically added to all ARTH Canvas courses, so we can quickly and effectively integrate images into Canvas and help instructors manage the tools and settings they’ll need to use within the remote context
  • Providing reference and instruction services to students in your courses in a remote capacity. Consider asking us to give remote instruction on using LUNA and conducting image-based research to your students in support of their Spring quarter assignments. 
  • Supporting students, especially MAPH and BA students completing their theses, by procuring images and conducting individual reference support over email or via Zoom
  • Supporting forthcoming publication projects

Please write to or call (773)702-0261 to reach VRC staff with questions or to request VRC services. 

Please write to to contact VRC and Art History Departmental staff regarding remote teaching or to request technology “dress rehearsals” or remote pedagogy consultations.

The VRC’s social media accounts will stay active during this time, so please follow us on Instagram @UChicagoVRC. We’ll be sharing updates about remote teaching as well as sharing insight into our digital collections if you need a moment of levity!

We are grateful to work with staff, faculty, and students who are strong, generous, and creative. Please be in touch if there is anything we can do to help support your remote teaching, technologically, pedagogically, or logistically.

I will be in touch with more information about official Zoom training soon, likely tomorrow.