The VRC is an ever-changing, evolving place. Since we stopped creating slides in 2006, our image digitization services have expanded to extra-departmental faculty, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and to History of Art graduate students. These developments reflect not only a change in technology, but a new focus that encourages greater access and use of our collections.

Our VRC head cataloger, Molly Schoen, presented a case study at the Visual Resources Association’s Annual Conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 12-15, 2014. The name of the conference this year was A Visual Approach, an expression borrowed from aviation, meaning a pilot’s visual approach to landing as opposed to one using navigation instruments. The conference focused on new ideas and insights in visual resources coming into clear view.
Here in our department we have implemented some major changes, improvements, and services, centering around

  • Increasing access to collections
  • Promoting best practices on visual literacy
  • Collaborating with faculty on writing grants for long-term digitization projects
  • Collaborating with other departments across campus
  • Creating new outreach initiatives
  • Creating finding aids in EAD format to display online, representing formerly closed collections
  • Making our images easy to find in a user-friendly interface

Molly’s presentation reflects the overall current focus here, which is to be open, friendly, accessible and relevant. Click Here to see the presentation slides.