Archive for October, 2010

The Dead Sea Scrolls go online

October 31, 2010

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Google are collaborating to upload newly digitized images of the 2,000 year old biblical texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Dating from the third century B.C.E. to the first century C.E., the Dead Sea Scrolls contain the earliest known copies of the Hebrew Bible. Digital copies as good as or even clearer than the original texts will support continued scholarship and protect the original, fragile fragments of parchment and papyrus from further exposure. The project began over two years ago but the development of a new digital imaging process that captures various wavelengths in the highest resolution possible will be in IAA labs soon. IAA expects the first version to go online within six months. Read more and see the project in action.

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New collections coming to ARTstor

October 28, 2010

ARTstor is collaborating with Aida Laleian to share approximately 960 images of architecture in Romania and Armenia in the Digital Library. Laleian, a photographer and scholar, traveled extensively in both countries to document architecture and historic sites. In Romania, she photographed ancient and medieval churches, monasteries, and castles.
ARTstor is also collaborating with the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to share approximately 9,100 images from a variety of special collections in the Digital Library. The collection in ARTstor will consist of images digitized from visual materials held in the University Library, which are relevant to a variety of fields, including Irish political history, theater and costume history, and campus architecture and design.
Available now are new photos of ancient through medieval archaeological and architectural sites throughout Europe and the Middle East by Sites and Photos are now available in the Digital Library. The images provide broad and in-depth documentation of the ancient world, including Classical, Megalithic, Islamic, Crusader, and Gothic archaeology and architecture, as well as Greek and Roman painting, sculpture, mosaics, and decorative arts. The collection is especially strong in its coverage of religious and Biblical sites in Israel, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and Cyprus.

‘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.

Database of art plundered by the Nazis

October 21, 2010

Adolf Hitler’s Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) was a Nazi agencies engaged in the plunder of cultural valuables in Nazi-occupied countries during the Second World War. During 1940-1944, the looted art from French Jewish and a number of Belgian Jewish collections was brought to the Jeu de Paume in Paris for processing by the ERR Sonderstab Bildende Kunst or “Special Staff for Pictorial Art.” A new online database allows access to more than 20,000 art objects taken from Jews in German-occupied France and in Belgium. The database is a detailed record of a small but important part of the vast seizure of cultural property that was integral to the Holocaust.

Why art books won’t become e-books any time soon

October 19, 2010

Jim Lewis argues that “Kindles, iPads, and the like will soon be the dominant medium—if, indeed, they aren’t already.  As a novelist this bothers me not at all. But novels and nonfiction aren’t the only things that come in book form. Unless you’re very dedicated, and very well-traveled, most of the art and photography you’ve seen has been on the printed page as well. Will these, too, gradually be replaced with e-books? I suspect not.” Read the entire article (“iPad, Meet Your Nemesis: Why art books won’t become e-books any time soon,” Slate, October 7, 2010).

Early graphic novels republished

October 18, 2010

Between 1929 and 1937, engraver and illustrator Lynd Ward (1905-1985) produced what some consider to be the first American graphic novels.  These wordless novels have just been republished as Six Novels in Woodcuts by The Library of America in a 2-volume set, edited and introduced by Art Spiegelman, creator of the Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel Maus.  Steven Heller writes a great review of this new release in the New York Times Book Review (October 10, 2010).

Crocker Art Museum expansion opens

October 18, 2010

If you have not had a chance to visit the new Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, you should. The recently completed expansion designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA) was the last public project by Charles Gwathmey before he died in 2009. Keep checking our Image Database — we will add new photos of the museum to our catalog soon. And while you’re enjoying the architecture, be sure to see professor emeritus Wayne Thiebaud’s exhibition “Wayne Thiebaud: Homecoming”.

Welcome to the VRF blog!

October 12, 2010

Welcome to the Visual Resources Facility’s blog! A new address, a new blog… the timing seemed appropriate. Since we just moved this summer from the Art Building to our new space in Everson 163/165, we thought this would be a good time to introduce our new home and a new blog.  Our goal is to help keep our users up-to-date on image news, technology tips and interesting stories from the art and art history world.  We hope you check in regularly and find the site useful. And we hope to see you in the VRF soon.