Visual Resources Association 34th Annual Conference... has ended
Conference schedule subject to change.  Check back regularly for the latest schedule and details about conference events.
Conference questions  ?  ---  contact Chris Strasbaugh, VP for Conference Program 
Registration questions ?  ---- contact Jasmine Burns, Secretary
View analytic
Thursday, March 30 • 3:30pm - 4:50pm
Diverse Ways to Create Digital Repositories

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Learning from Things: The Bard Graduate Center Study Collection

Barbara Elam, Associate Director of Visual Media Resources and Study Collection Librarian, Bard Graduate Center


Life Story: Creating Metadata for a Portrait File

Zoe Waldron, Metadata Specialist, New York Public Library


“Without absolute certainty, what do we do? We do the best we can:” Maintaining Integrity in the Creation of Digital Images

Lael J. Ensor, Assistant Visual Resources Curator, Johns Hopkins University

Amy Lazet, College for Creative Studies, Visual Resources Specialist


Moderator, Meghan Rubenstein, Colorado College, Curator of Visual Resources


The presenters in this session join an ongoing conversation about how visual resources professionals navigate the relationship between physical objects and the data that represent them. Their papers address new, and often exciting, challenges faced when working with digital repositories and present case studies that demonstrate how to respond to both the needs of the collection and its audience.


Barbara Elam will present her work with the Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, an assemblage of decorative arts and material culture objects whose purpose is to support pedagogy by providing hands-on, close-up examination of objects as part of a classroom experience. She will trace the development of the collection from its inception, including the challenges of cataloging objects with limited or no information. Barb will also discuss recent collaborations, share her photography process—including 3-D image capture—and talk about issues surrounding the preservation, conservation, and storage of these “non-museum” objects.


Zoe Waldron will present her work with The Portrait File, one of the largest and most heavily used digital image collections at the New York Public Library, which encompasses approximately 68,000 portrait and biographical images of notable figures in American, British, and European history from ancient times to early 20th century. She will examine the metadata creation practice for the Portrait File, which evolved in its approach over its long digitization history that has spanned 15 years, one database migration, and many metadata creators. Zoe’s work with this collection demonstrates that metadata creation is an ongoing process, and her paper will discuss metadata enhancements that might be made to Portrait File items in the future.   


Lael J. Ensor and Amy Lazet will present their work on how materiality translates through digitization and intervening media and the choices visual resources professionals must make in the creation of surrogate images. Within visual resources there are many guidelines and publications that focus on technical aspects of artwork digitization, but there is a dearth of literature pertaining to creating surrogate images of the visual arts, especially as it relates to the materiality of copywork. Scholars and students rely on the accuracy of the images we provide, but what constitutes accuracy where works of art are concerned? Lael and Amy address how we, as visual resources professionals, can provide the best possible images by approximating the aura of the original work of art, including its materiality (texture, volume, contours, etc.). They also ask: How and to what extent should visual resources professionals think about materiality when creating surrogate images?

avatar for Meghan Rubenstein

Meghan Rubenstein

Curator of Visual Resources, Colorado College


Barbara Elam

Associate Director of Visual Media Resources and Study Collection Librarian, Bard Graduate Center
avatar for Lael Ensor-Bennett

Lael Ensor-Bennett

Assistant Curator, Johns Hopkins University
People should talk to me about everything VR, as well as medieval art history (Western and Islamic), comics and graphic novels, and paper crafting.
avatar for Amy Lazet

Amy Lazet

Visual Resources Specialist, College for Creative Studies

Zoe Waldron

Metadata creator, The New York Public Library
Librarian, cataloger and metadata creator who is passionate about visual culture, human history, and connecting others with information.

Thursday March 30, 2017 3:30pm - 4:50pm
Salon C-D

Attendees (58)