Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

Vatican to digitize Manuscripts

April 8, 2014

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With funding from the Polonsky Foundation, the Vatican is planning on digitize its entire Ancient Manuscript collection. Last year, the Vatican and the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford collaborated on a massive digitization project to make 1.5 million manuscript pages from their collections accessible online. This huge endeavor is known as the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project. And now another sponsor (NTT Data) has stepped forward, enabling the Vatican to digitize all 82,000 manuscripts in its 135 collections — 41 million pages in all!

Read the Vatican press release here.

Government shutdown and the arts

October 2, 2013

Budget BattleSo the government shutdown has become a reality — the first shutdown since the month long closure in 1995. What does that mean for the arts and for our image/research users? The National Endowment for the Arts is essentially closed and half its staff furloughed. The Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries are closed although the institutions remain guarded, HVAC systems are operating and maintenance crews are on call. Some current exhibitions may end early and others will have their rollouts disrupted. The National Zoo is closed and the panda cam is offline.ngaclosed National Parks are closed until further notice and national monuments are barricaded. Not only is the Library of Congress closed but its website is down. While you can’t access LC’s American Memory Project and the Prints and Photographs Collection, the National Archives catalog remains online (for the moment…) but without updates.

NYPL’s new Stereogranimator

January 31, 2012

The New York Public Library has just released a new tool — the Stereogranimatorthat can transform historical stereographs into shareable 3D web formats. Stereoscopic photography recreates the illusion of depth by presenting two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. The 2D images are merged in the brain, creating the perception of 3D depth. The Stereogranimator allows users to select a stereoscope from the 40,000+ stereographs from NYPL’s archive and produce an anaglyph or animated gif that combines the two images into one.
For more on the stereographs and how they work, check out the Getty’s simulation.

Research grant opportunity at Columbia University

December 2, 2011

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Columbia University Libraries have announce the Libraries Research Awards Program designed to facilitate research access to the Libraries’ special collections. The Libraries will award ten grants of $2,500 each to those researchers who demonstrate a compelling need to consult Columbia Libraries special collections for their work. All US citizens are welcome to apply and  preference will be given to those outside the New York City metropolitan area. The intent of the grant is to help defer the cost of visiting the Libraries for research needs.
Participating libraries and collections include: the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Butler Library, the Lehman Social Sciences Library, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, and the Libraries’ Area Studies Collections.
Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2012, with research expected to be conducted at Columbia between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. For eligibility, application guidelines, conditions, and more
information about the special collections at Columbia University, please visit the Libraries Research Awards Program.

Frick Photoarchive available online

October 13, 2011

Scholars can now look forward to accessing the Photoarchive of the Frick Art Reference Library online.  With help from the NEH and the Henry Luce Foundation, the Frick has just released a beta version of its digital image archive containing 15,000 works of art and research documentation for 125,000 works of art. The archive is accessible at images.frick.org. You can access the Frick Reference Library collection through their online catalog FRESCO.
Established to facilitate object-oriented research, the Photoarchive is a study collection of more than one million photographic reproductions of works of art from the fourth to the mid-twentieth century by artists trained in the Western tradition.  To read more about the online Photoarchive, go to the Frick press release.

What does a Digital Public Library of America look like?

May 20, 2011

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee wants your help developing a national digital public library. To facilitate this goal, the DPLA has released Beta Sprint, an initiative that “seeks, ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc.—put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms—that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content.” Beta Sprint is where theory merges with reality, or as Doron Weber, Steering Committee member and Vice President of the Sloan Foundation, put it, “where the dream of a seamless and comprehensive digital library for every person begins to grapple, technically and creatively, with what has already been accomplished and what still needs to be developed.” Anyone interested in participating must submit a Statement of Interest by June 15.
For more information on the Digital Public Library of America, go to their wiki.
(sources: Beta Sprint Press Release, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard)

New resources at Shields Library

May 17, 2011

Our always helpful librarian at Shields Library, Dan Goldstein, emailed us a list of books just added to the Harvest catalog. Here are a few highlights:
The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum : archaeology, reception, and digital reconstruction (Shields Library DG70.H5 V56 2010); The art of tomorrow (N6497 .A78 2010); The vorticists : manifesto for a modern world (N6768.5.V6 V678 2010); Forced journeys : artists in exile in Britain c.1933-45 (N6768 .F68 2009); Undercurrents : experimental ecosystems in recent art (N6498.E26 U54 2010); Abitare : 50 years of design : the best of architecture, interiors, fashion, travel, trends (NK1390 .A25 2010); Stephen Gill, Coming up for air (TR655 .G57 2010); Ivan Vartanian, See/Saw : connections between Japanese art then and now (N7350 .V37 2011); Contemporary art in Asia : a critical reader (N7260 .C627 2011); Mazaar, Bazaar : design and visual culture in Pakistan (NC998.6.P18 M38 2009); Atlas of world interior design (NK1990 .A85 2011); Russell Abraham, California cool : residential modernism reborn (NA7235.C2 A37 2010); Representing slavery : art, artefacts and archives in the collections of the National Maritime Museum (HT985 .R46 2007); Art and phenomenology (N70 .A775 2011); Holger Hoock, Empires of the imagination : politics, war and the arts in the British world, 1750-1850 (DA485 .H66 2010); Kathleen Ashley, Being a pilgrim : art and ritual on the medieval routes to Santiago; Ansel Adams, Unseen Ansel Adams : photographs from the Fiat Lux Collection (TR655 .A323 2010).

AND please take a look at Dan’s “Digital Images” finding aids site. It’s full of really helpful links to licensed and freely available image resources for students and scholars working in the humanities. This is a great campus resource.

Discover Yale Digital Commons

May 12, 2011

Yale University has announced that they will provide free access to the millions of items housed in their museums, archives and libraries through their newly developed catalog Yale Digital Commons or YDA. So far, Yale has digitized slightly over 250,000 of its 1.5 million items. Yale’s collections are broad ranging and deep — from vertebrate zoology to hand-written Mozart compositions. Users can search by institution (the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Art Gallery, Library and Center for British Art), by creator, document type (ie. animals, coins, prints), topics (ie. landscape, Tanzania), era and more. Yale is the first of the Ivy Leagues to make its collections freely available and it hopes this approach will encourage scholars to look to their collections for inspiration. At this point, Yale is not placing any limitations on use of the digital images YDA makes available.

What’s in (or not) the new budget for federal art groups

April 14, 2011

The recently negotiated national budget includes dramatic cuts to federally funded arts programs. The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) will each take a $12.5 million hit to their annual budget (or 7%). The IMLS (Institute of Museums and Library Services) will see a 15.7% drop in their operating budget. The National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs grant program, which supports the numerous large and small museums, theaters and libraries in the DC area, will shrink to $2.5 million from its previous budget of $9.5 million, while the National Gallery of Art will experience a 7.2% reduction. According to IMLS spokeswoman Mamie Bittner, the cuts force the agency to rethink its granting process: “should the IMLS help as many recipients as it did before, allocating smaller average grants to each? Or should it keep grants as large as before, but issue fewer to implement the $44.3 million in budget cuts?” Despite the hit, Americans for the Arts noted that the hit was “more sensible and proportional” than the suggested 26% reduction to the NEA and NEH proposed by the House Republicans. (source: Culture Monster, April 14, 2011 and Hyperallergic, April 13, 2011 and Committee  on Appropriation’s Spending Cuts the Centerpiece for Final Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2011)

‘Library Inc.’

October 24, 2010

Dan Goldstein, our arts librarian at UCD’s Shields Library, has written an interesting and provocative article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the commercialization of academic libraries. “Library Inc.” discusses the effects of information technology on library collections and library users as the marketplace invades the library through digital content and innovations.


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