The VRC’s collections of nearly two million images represent an encyclopedic coverage of art and architecture selected by faculty for over 100 years. The collections serve the curricular and research needs of the department and the broader university, as well as scholars from around the world.

The weeding and consolidating of 35mm slide drawers is very near completion. We are creating a lot of additional space by removing the empty slide cabinets, which is not to say we are getting smaller. In fact, digitally we are growing larger every day. Our current digitization projects include the National Palace Museum Collection, the Diane Kirkpatrick Modern Art Collection, the Borobudur 1983 expedition, and others.

We were the fortunate recipients of donations from Islamic manuscript scholar Marianna Shreve Simpson. The collection includes her personal research notes and will be valuable to scholars. We have also recently received a collection of personal slides from alumnae Pearson Macek (PhD ’86), who has travelled the world and is a wonderful photographer. Her collection focuses on early Medieval art and architecture from England and France, which we have in queue to digitize.

Other initiatives we are currently working on are organizing all of our archival, undocumented, and analog materials that were donated to the VRC many years ago. The goal is to create highly searchable online finding aids and make those known and accessible to scholars.

In case you missed this news: the VRC has a new manager. Cathy Pense, who started in May of 2013, will take the VRC in an open, service-based direction. We welcome visitors, questions, tours, and offer instruction sessions on using, searching, making, storing…anything regarding images.

Watch our website for information on an upcoming brown bag lunch on Thursday, February 20 with U-M Copyright Officer Melissa Levine. She will be discussing the use of images and copyright concerns for art historians. Contact us at or call 734-763-6114. Check out our catalog and our website