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.
Luna will be down on Saturday afternoon from 3–5pm while the Library’s Digital Library Development Center upgrades its servers. We will keep you informed if Luna will be down for longer than expected.
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.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch, the Netherlandish painter best known for his painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” And thanks to the work of a group of art historians, film-makers, and photographers, one no longer needs to travel to the Prado Museum in Spain to get a good look at this amazing painting!
Described as an “online interactive adventure,” the site allows viewers to either freely move around the painting, zooming on details or take a guided tour. Additionally, there are some 40 recorded audio essays throughout the painting. Click on an icon, and you can zoom into a detail and listen to an explanation of what’s depicted and how it relates to the work overall.
In addition to the interactive painting, there is also a new app allowing viewers to see the garden in “virtual reality.” Bosch VR, produced by BDH Design agency, allows viewer to move through the garden by viewing the painting on an iPad or on an iPhone or Android phone using Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard viewers are available for use from the VRC during normal operating hours.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is currently holding an exhibit of sketchbooks by the Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn. The 29 sketchbooks in the exhibit were given to the Cantor Arts Center by Phyllis Diebenkorn, the artist’s wife, and none of them have been seen by the public until now.
In addition to exhibiting the sketchbooks, Stanford has also digitized all 29 and have made them available to the public. The interactive site is easy to use, allowing viewers to choose a sketchbook and flip through it page by page.
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.
The Visual Resources Center recently added a beautiful group of French medieval cathedrals to the publicly available Lantern Slide Collection. These images are some of the finest examples of large format architectural photography in the collection. We continue to add images to the Luna collection on a regular basis, so check back in to see what’s new!
Recently, Heidelberg University in Germany launched a new digital handscroll website. The Hachiman Digital Handscroll site contains seven digitized Japanese handscrolls of Karmic Origins of the Great Hachiman Bodhisattva. The scrolls range in date from 1389 to the Nineteenth Century.
In addition to having a simple, easy-to-use navigation framework, the project includes some interesting features. When viewers move their cursors over the scroll, different areas appear in different colors. These layers, as they’re called, provide annotation and additional information on the element highlighted. The text from the scrolls is available in both English and Japanese and readers can easily toggle between the two. Finally, there is also a “light table” feature allowing viewers to compare a particular scene or script passage from all seven scrolls at one.
This site makes an excellent companion to the Digital Scrolling Paintings Project produced here at the University of Chicago!
We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year!!
The Visual Resources Center will close on Friday, December 18 and remain closed until Friday, January 2, 2015. See you in 2016!!