Personal Archiving Workshops

The VRC is hosting a series of workshops on managing personal image research archives during Winter and Spring Quarters 2021. Below please find our workshop descriptions. We will announce the schedule, along with details on registering, in early January. All sessions will be recorded, and you will be able to access the recordings on this page once they’re available. We’ve structured the series so that workshops both build upon each other or be taken a la carte, depending on your needs and interests.

The webinars will be held in Zoom, and the following options will be available during and after the sessions:

  • Live captioning
  • PDFs of accompanying slides
  • Recording of the workshop and transcript of the audio

Please email the VRC at if you require any additional accommodations.

Workshop 1: Introduction to Photoshop for Editing Scanned and Downloaded Images 
Friday, January 22, 2021 11am–12pm CST

This workshop will introduce photo-editing for images scanned from publications or downloaded from repositories. We’ll start with image editing basics including adjusting color, shadows, and highlights, stitching images together, and removing imperfections to set a foundation for taking your images to publication-quality. 

Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Workshop 2: Photoshop for Editing Personal Site/Archival Photography
Friday, January 29, 2021 11am–12pm CST

This workshop will build off of the basics covered in Workshop 1 (though not a prerequisite), looking specifically at personal photography of sites, architecture, or objects in an archive. We’ll go over editing colors specific to non-scanned images, and cover how to correct distortions and remove backgrounds.

Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Workshop 3: Creating and Customizing Images for Academic Arguments Friday, February 19, 2021 11am–12pm CST

This workshop will introduce easy methods for creating and/or customizing your own digital images, maps, or diagrams in Photoshop to illustrate original arguments. We’ll cover different workflows using a desktop and tablet, as well as other software options. Great for students looking to create simple reconstructions of sites, architecture, or objects. 

Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Workshop 4: Navigating Image Rights and Permissions Friday, March 5, 2021 11am–12pm CST

How do you navigate the rights of artists—and the photographers who document their work—in your dissertation, articles, and/or forthcoming book project? This workshop will be an open forum to discuss attendees’ questions and concerns. Please bring your questions to the workshop or submit them in advance for consideration! By conducting copyright assessments of live examples, we’ll cover an overview of image copyright, best practices for requesting images, and fair use. We’ll also look ahead to tips on tracking permission requests through platforms like AirTable, which will be covered in Workshop 5, Part 2.

This workshop will be led by Anne M. Young, Director of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property at Newfields. Currently Co-Chair of the College Art Association’s Committee on Intellectual Property, Young is also the author of Rights and Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions (2019, 2nd ed., American Alliance of Museums).

Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Note: The VRC will additionally participate in a Winter Quarter workshop with University of Chicago Library copyright workshop called “Using Images in Your Dissertation,” geared towards graduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Details TBA.

Workshop 5, Part 1: Introduction to Cataloging Resources and Selecting a Platform for Managing Your Personal Image Archive
TBA, Spring Quarter 2021

This workshop will present existing cataloging resources from libraries, museums, and archives world and discuss strategies for describing the images in your personal archive. We’ll also discuss how to select a platform for managing your archive by diving into one of our recommended platforms, Tropy. Tropy is a free program for managing your image archive. It features metadata panels, room to transcribe documents, take notes, and more. Tropy excels at cataloging archival correspondence, and VRC staff created a custom template for cataloging art and architecture, making Tropy a good option to collect all your research photos, especially for dissertations or other large research projects. One caveat: Tropy is a closed system, which means it’s hard to export your data out of Tropy for use in other systems.

Workshop 5, Part 2: Selecting a Platform for Managing Personal Image Archive
TBA, Spring Quarter 2021

In this workshop, we’ll continue the conversation about selecting a platform by looking at Airtable and AiRES. AirTable is great for managing permissions/copyright requests and can be a really efficient tool for managing images for BA and MA theses, too! AiRES is a fun tool that allows you to move images around as if they’re on a digital light table. While AiRES can serve as an archive, it seems best suited for thinking through visual relationships between images.

Workshop 6: Strategies for Managing Your Research PDFs
TBA, Spring Quarter 2021

Make the most of your PDFs through OCR, annotation, Acrobat, Zotero, Box, Evernote, and more. This workshop will look at a variety of platforms and workflows. We’ll also discuss platforms for brainstorming and collating information and images, such as Miro and OneNote. 

Workshop 7: Beyond the Archive
TBA, Spring Quarter 2021

Join us for a culminating discussion on managing research archives with Carmen Caswell, Digital Humanities Research Liaison. Does your project need something more robust, like a database? Are you interested in mapping your data, analyzing text, or pursuing other digital humanities projects? Do you want to share how your archive is coming together and hear how others are managing theirs? This session will reflect on the process of managing personal research archives and look at what still needs to be done.

Other campus workshops on managing your personal archive:

  • University of Chicago Library, “Using Images in Your Dissertation,” Winter Quarter, details TBA