Cambridge University recently announced that they have digitized objects from the Library’s Chinese collections and made them freely available on-line. Digitized items include a collection of oracle bones that display some of the earliest examples for writing anywhere in the world, as well as the manuscript “Manual of Calligraphy and Painting.” This manuscript is incredibly rare and the binding so fragile that many of the prints have never been seen until now. The library has also digitized early printed books and a 14th-century banknote!
The digital images are accompanied by short description of the work and includes metadata in English and Chinese. They can be downloaded under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial license. Reproduction rights can also be requested through the site.
The Visual Resources Center is very pleased to announce that thousands of images from the Smart Museum of Art’s collection are now available in LUNA. From the 14,000 objects in the Smart’s collection, there are now over 5,000 unique images of artwork from the collection encompassing multiple countries, cultures, and time periods. More images are being added on a regular basis. The collection can be found here
The collection in LUNA reflects the strengths of the Smart Museum of Art’s collection, which include modern, Asian, European, and contemporary art. Through this project, the VRC has made available PDFs of 17 sketchbooks belonging to H.C. Westermann and two Japanese albums of prints.
The collection is password protected and can be accessed using a CNet ID and password, making it available to all on-campus users. There is also a link provided to obtain a high-resolution image for publication or research. As the Spring Quarter begins, this is an invaluable resource for instructors, and students, who are interested in utilizing the museum collections in their own work.
Images clockwise from upper left:
Ukiyo-e Search provides an incredible resource: the ability to run a reverse image search for Japanese woodblock prints and the ability to see similar prints across multiple collections at once. Over 220,000 prints and metadata have been aggregated from a variety of museums, universities, libraries, auction houses and dealers from around the world. The image and text search engine allows multiple copies of the same print to automatically line up with each other and are made viewable in a gallery for easy comparison. The entire website is also available in both English and Japanese. Ukiyo-e.org was created by John Resig, a computer programmer and avid enthusiast of Japanese woodblock prints who recently become a Visiting Researcher at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. This powerful tool is used frequently by UChicago faculty and aided the cataloging of several albums in the Smart Museum’s collection.
Princeton University, in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the University of Alexandria, have announced the launch of a website documenting icons from the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai.
The icons were documented and photographed on expeditions led by Kurt Weitzmann from Princeton University and George Forsyth from the University of Michigan from 1956 to 1965. Princeton University now holds the color photographs taken of the icons and have digitized them, making them available for viewing. Currently, the website displays about 1,200 transparencies, with another 2,000 in the works.
The images are the copyrighted property of the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Trustees of Princeton University, but can be freely used for classroom projection, display on computer monitors, and use in class assignments. The images cannot be published without permission, but requesting permission can be easily done through the website.
Luna is currently making some changes to its database, including the Luna Commons Collections. As of today, we no longer have access to the following collections through the University of Chicago’s Luna login. If you would like to access these collections, you’ll need to visit the individual collections websites listed below. Access to these collections will eventually be restored to the University of Chicago’s Luna login.
Users still have access to 13 existing Commons Collections—including the popular David Rumsey Historical Map Collection—through our instance of Luna. The VRC will keep you updated on access to Luna commons collections and other improvements coming to the database, including their planned interface redesign.
If you have any questions about changes in Luna or access to your content, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Comprising a website, a traveling exhibition, and book, Qantara is a very rich and interesting resource for studying the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to the 18th century. The website contains over 1500 entries from Western Europe, Byzantium, and Islamic regions that include objects, sites, and monuments. The material can be searched using various intersections such as materials, subjects, or historical period. Each entry has descriptive metadata (size, media, discovery and repository information), a short descriptive essay, and a bibliography.
There are repositories and cultural heritage institutions from nine countries involved in Qantara, and the information has been reviewed by over 200 experts including curators, historians, and researchers.
One of the biggest concerns when using images in projects, papers, and presentations is copyright restrictions. That’s why it’s so exciting to report that the Walters Art Museum has made all their digital images, as well as the accompanying metadata, freely available via a Creative Commons Zero license.
What this means is that anyone can use any image from their website, for any purpose, without permission or fear of violating any copyright restrictions. The digital images are of high quality, easy to search, and simple to download. Those looking for higher-resolution images for publishing are encouraged to contact their photo services department.
The museum is encyclopedic in scope and offers thousands of images of artwork from the ancient world, Asia, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, and the Islamic world.
Recently, Chelsea Foxwell, Assistant Professor of Art History and the College, brought a new on-line resource for Japanese art to our attention.
The Mary Griggs Burke Collection, a major new database for Japanese art, along with some Chinese and Korean art, has recently launched. During her lifetime, Mary Griggs Burke had one of the best collections of Japanese art outside of Japan, and her collection has since been donated to several museums.
This website presents the highlights of her collection, with more than 1,000 high-quality photographs and cataloging data displayed online. You can browse the website by collecting area, artist, format, and period or do keyword searches of the collection. Users are able to zoom and pan enlarged images, and you can save a medium quality image by right clicking in the view and selecting “Save Image As.”
This site, along with many others that provide images of art and architecture, can be found on the VRC’s Other Art Resources Online page.
Europeana, the site that hosts millions of digital images from European museums, libraries, and archives, now has a Pinterest page.
As can be seen from the image above, the images have been organized into categories and themes. This makes it much easier to find specific items, like Meissen porcelain or maps, or to search across media for a theme or style, like Art Nouveau or Angels. In addition to creating personal boards to “collect” images that might be useful for research or in a presentation, using Pinterest also allows users to discover other images, since users can be taken back to Europeana’s site, which provides basic metadata with links to other works by specific artists or in a specific style, a link to the owning museum, and a suggestion of “other items you may be interested in.”
StoryMapJS is a free tool created by Northwestern University’s Knightlab, which aimes to make technology that promotes quality storytelling on the Internet. Storymap allows you to highlight locations of a series of events, like this example of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Works of Art. It also uses features like Gigapixel to tag points on an existing images like this example of The Garden of Earthly Delights or SnapMap to instantly create a map through your Instagram feed. Try this open source user friendly tool for plotting your next project!