October 2008 vol.5, no.5

Home for Images, The newsletter of the VRA

Notes from the President
Allan T. Kohl (Minneapolis College of Art & Design)
President, Visual Resources Association

The kids had begun to notice that Mom and Dad shushed them whenever news about the economy flashed on the TV, and that their parents often frowned these days as they balanced the checkbook and read through the credit card statements.  Still, they weren’t particularly concerned about it until they were summoned to a family meeting around the kitchen table.  Looking at each of them, Dad said slowly, “We need to have a little talk about money . . .” 

My previous two messages have focused on the conference planning process, and some of the decisions that the Executive Board must make to position each conference to be successful. This month, in the midst of our annual membership renewal campaign, I’d like to broaden the topic to consider the larger matter of organizational finances, and how these affect the health and well-being of our Association.  The VRA is a membership services organization, whose members devote thousands of hours annually to serve our profession’s common interests, and whose work for the direct benefit of their peers is performed on a voluntary basis.  Even so, an organization of this size and complexity requires a substantial budget to pay for publications, web design and hosting, professional services, insurance, and a myriad of other expenses.  This year, our operating expenses are projected to reach $185,000.  That breaks down to around $245 per member.

The troubled economy is a subject of concern for all of us these days, whether we’re thinking about the nation, our state and local governments, our schools, or our own bank accounts and portfolios.  Similarly, the VRA finds itself caught between rising expenses and static income.  The major sources of our operating budget remain today, as they have always been, membership dues and conference income. 

Regarding the latter, a number of years of financially successful conferences earlier in the present decade allowed us to build up our assets:  some of these are invested in U.S. Treasury bonds; the balance is held in low-risk mutual funds, some of which have recently declined in value.  Under the watchful eye of the Treasurer, and with the guidance of the Financial Advisory Committee, your Association maintains reserves sufficient to cover at least a year’s operating expenses, and to protect the VRA against the unlikely possibility of catastrophic loss, such as having to suspend or cancel a conference due to a natural disaster or a terrorist incident.  As I have previously explained, increases over the past few years in hotel catering requirements and audiovisual services have now made it quite difficult to operate each conference at a profit without raising registration fees.  However, given the increased cost of travel, the Board is wary of pricing conference participation beyond the limits of affordability for many of our members.  What good would it do to raise registration fees if this were to result in lower attendance?  To be frank, whether our forthcoming conference in Toronto will make money, lose money, or break even depends to a large degree on how many of us choose to attend.

The unpredictable nature of conference revenue makes the Association all the more dependent on membership dues for its financial base.  Historically, we have raised membership dues over a three-year cycle, about 10-15% for each membership category, in even dollar increments.  Dues for 2010 will be going up for next year’s campaign in the fall of 2009 (consider this fair warning!).  However, knowing that many of our individual members are also facing unprecedented economic stress, the Board has decided to keep dues at current levels for this year’s membership renewal campaign (2009 membership year).  Since we are holding the line on increases, it is all the more imperative that each of us takes the time to renew his or her membership during this year’s membership campaign and also to make sure that the dues category we enter accurately reflects our true income level.

Over 11% of our current individual members have joined at the low student rate; students are also eligible for substantial benefits, including significantly lower conference registration fees and, beginning this year, special student travel awards. The Board has clarified the criteria for student membership, and we ask that each person considering this option first read carefully the revised definition.

The MemberClicks renewal form that every one of us will complete also offers opportunities for each member to make an additional donation to the Association.  This past year, less than 1% of our individual members chose to do so.  If your personal financial situation would allow you to make an additional gift to your Association, know that your generosity will be appreciated by your fellow members, and that the Executive Board will make sure that your donation is used wisely and well.

For 2008-2009, with our projected operating expenses exceeding our anticipated revenues, we face the very real possibility of our first deficit budget in many years.  This situation is not necessarily cause for alarm:  our accumulated assets will allow us to weather short-term economic downturns.  Going forward, our options for dealing with ongoing shortfalls include increasing income by raising membership dues and conference registration fees (and soliciting your donations to the Association as you renew your membership!); we can also take steps to reduce expenses (which sounds easy until you recall that, as a non-profit membership services organization, most of our work is performed by volunteers, and our major expenses are directly related to providing benefits and services to our members).  We can, of course, continue to spend down our accumulated assets – but we all know that this practice, while it may get us through a temporary rough stretch, is not sustainable over time.

Something else we can do in the short term is to work smarter, becoming better stewards of our human capital while using our resources of time and effort (as well as money) more effectively.  It is in this spirit that the Board is exploring two innovations to improve our regional Chapters and strengthen their symbiotic relationship with the Association.  These proposals include offering “bundled memberships” and instituting a Chapter Bursary. Bundled memberships – through which an individual may join or renew membership in both the Association and a regional Chapter of choice in a single transaction, with a single payment – is an idea that was first proposed in the Long Range Strategic Plan of 2002, but which was not practical to implement at that time.  Bundled memberships can now be accommodated through expanded use of our MemberClicks account, with administrative oversight provided by the Membership Services Coordinator.  While no Association member would be obliged to join a regional Chapter, the ease and simplicity of bundled memberships might encourage more members to make this choice (at present, fewer than 45% of individual Association members have also joined a Chapter).

The Chapter Bursary is a proposed solution to recurring problems experienced by a number of Chapters in maintaining and transferring bank accounts from one Treasurer to a successor as banking regulations grow ever more complex.  Chapter dues paid in a bundled membership transaction would not be pooled in common; instead, each Chapter’s funds would be held by the Chapter Bursary in a restricted Chapter account, to be disbursed, on instructions from the Chapter Treasurer, by the Association Treasurer in the form of a check (or electronic transfer where appropriate).  The Chapter Bursary would reduce the need for each chapter to maintain and manage a separate checking account, and would facilitate Chapter leadership transitions.

Together, these two measures would ease burdens on Chapter officers by reducing the present volume of laborious paper-based transactions, allowing them more time to concentrate on program development and enhancement of educational opportunities at the local level.  The Board is preparing a new model bylaws prototype to accommodate these changes.  Our hope is that the Chapters will discuss these proposals during their fall meetings, and – if their members concur that such a move would be to their benefit – revise their bylaws to authorize these changes.  (These concepts were presented to the Chapter Chairs in August; response to date has been positive.)

Feedback from another source has also guided the Board’s decision about conference registration fees for Toronto.  This year’s post-conference survey after San Diego included a number of questions about attendees’ participation costs; we also, for the first time, solicited input from those unable to attend.  While some degree of financial support is typically provided to attendees by their institutions or employers, we noted from survey responses how many of our members must pay not only their membership dues but also a significant portion of total conference-related expenses out of their own pockets.  So here it is from the horse’s mouth:  basic individual online conference registration fees for Toronto will remain at the 2008 level – although on-site registration fees will have to increase slightly to reflect the higher actual costs of these transactions at the conference venue (in other words, to save money, remember to pre-register online by the deadline – watch for more specific information in the near future).  And here’s a piece of good news:  to offset the rising cost of conference participation, there will be more travel awards available than ever before, and the dollar amount of each award has also been increased. 

Dad looked slowly around at the sober faces of the family members gathered at the kitchen table.  “So, we may have to do a bit of belt-tightening,” he said, “and we’ll have to watch our pennies more carefully than we used to.  But basically, we’re in pretty good shape, all things considered.  OK?”  He looked across the table at his daughter, and slowly stuck out his lower lip to match her pouting expression, until each of them cracked a grin, and everyone burst out laughing.  “We’ll be fine,” he reminded her, as everyone relaxed.  “Never forget that, whatever happens, we’ll still have each other.”

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Summer Educational Institute 2008 (SEI)
Jeanne Keefe (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Christina Updike (James Madison University)

The fifth annual Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI), co-sponsored by ARLIS/NA and VRA, took place at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA from July 7 -13, 2008. The goals of SEI are to provide information professionals with a substantive educational and professional development opportunity focused on digital imaging, the information and experience needed to stay current in a rapidly changing field, and the opportunity to create a network of supportive colleagues.

This year’s SEI participants came from all over the United States, as well as, Singapore and the Bahamas. The majority of attendees were from library and visual resources organizations, while archives and museums from the non-academic world were also represented.  Aside from preliminary reading materials provided on the SEI website, participants also received written supplementary material, which included: a binder with extensive information on each module, flyers and brochures from a number of vendors and professional organizations, and brochures about the host institution and local attractions.

A number of experienced and enthusiastic instructors developed and presented the curriculum modules, demonstrated software, and participated in spirited discussions. The instructors included Amy Lucker and Sherman Clarke (NYU), Sarah Cheverton, Christina Updike, Kevin Hegg, Andreas Knab, and Mary Ann Chappell (JMU), Howard Brainen (TwoCat Digital), Jeanne Keefe (Rensselaer), Caitlain D. Lewis (SUNYA), Kelcy Shepherd U. of MA, Amherst), Jolene de Verges (MIT), Jenn Riley (Indiana U.),  and Madeline Wessel (UVA).

There was also an energetic Implementation Committee that worked all year long to bring the SEI to fruition.  Members included (with primary roles): Amy Lucker and Jeanne Keefe (Co-Chairs), Alix Reiskind (Instructor Liaison and incoming ARLIS Co-Chair), Elaine Paul (Development), Evan Towle (Web Page), and Christina Updike (Local Chair).

A number of sponsors provided valuable support this year.  SEI received funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to award limited scholarships to five participants that were also attending LIS programs.  Additional funding came from other donors including Scott Gilchrist (Archivision), Howard Brainen (TwoCat Digital), Cathie Lemon (Phoenix Art Museum), Janine Henri (UCLA Arts Library) and Elaine Paul (U. of Colorado, Boulder).

In addition to the two sponsoring organizations, ARLIS/NA and VRA, SEI also received support from James Madison University’s School of Art and Art History and the Visual Resources Center. The funds supported facilities, equipment, instructional materials, training, and refreshments.  We are most appreciative of such support - thank you for your generosity.

SEI was not all work and no play. Christina Updike served as the Local Arrangements Chair, with the help of her assistants Stephanie Armentrout and Paul Estabrook, and members of JMU’s Events and Conferences staff.  They all provided a warm welcome and continued support throughout the week. The first evening's reception was held in the Prism Art Gallery at the Festival Conference and Student Center.  Opening remarks and greetings were presented by Leslie Bellavance, Director of the JMU School of Art and Art History, as well as by Kate Stevens, Director of the Madison Art Collection.  An Asian-inspired buffet supper followed, where all participants and instructors dined and networked.

A participants’ roster was sent out to all registrants a few months before SEI and that enabled people to introduce themselves and coordinate travel plans.  Many of the attendees also took advantage of the beautiful natural setting of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains around Harrisonburg by visiting local museums, shops and the famous Luray Caverns.

These are some of the comments received:


I don't work in a visual resources collection. I'm a book librarian … I found the entire program very informative. I'll have a better grasp of what my fellow working group members are talking about.

I feel like I gained a year's work experience in one week…

I thought the classes were at an appropriate level. They were easy to follow if you weren't as familiar with that area, but also contained more advanced information

The curriculum is excellent. I hope ARLIS/NA and VRA offer more of these sessions - not just for the "nubies" or for "oldies" who need refresher courses. All professionals in these fields should be encouraged to attend - not just once - over the course of one's career. All of the themes presented in the curricula were relevant.

For more information on the 2008 SEI, see http://www.vraweb.org/seiweb/index.html

Next year’s SEI will take place June 8 - 13, 2009 at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston, Massachusetts hosted by Martha Mahard and Anne Reid.  More information will be posted on the SEI website as it becomes available.

Kathe Hicks Albrect Appointed Incoming Co-chair of the Summer Education Institute
By Loy Zimmerman (Visual Resources Association Foundation, Chair)

The VRA Foundation and the Art Libraries Society of North America are pleased to announce the appointment of Kathe Hicks Albrecht as incoming co-chair of the Summer Educational Institute.  Kathe will join the Implementation Team in September, 2008, beginning her term as Co-chair when current Co-chair Jeanne Keefe completes her term in September 2009.  Members of the 2009 SEI Implementation Team and the Long Term Advisory Group are listed below.  The two groups will work under the auspices of the VRA Foundation and ARLIS/NA, partners in the SEI project.

2009 SEI Implementation Team, Chairs: VRA/VRAF Co-chair: Jeanne Keefe
ARLIS/NA Co-chair: Alix Reiskind Local Chair: Martha Mahard, Simmons College

Team Members: Kathe Albrecht, incoming VRAF Co-Chair; Chris Hilker, registration and web manager); Trudy Jacoby, development (replacing Evan Towle); Paul Megan Young, (member) replacing Elaine

Board liaisons: ARLIS/NA: Elizabeth Schaub; VRA Foundation: Jeanne Keefe

SEI Advisory Group: Sherman Clarke, Johanna Bauman, Eileen Fry, and Amber Ruiz

Intellectual Property Rights News
Compiled by Jen Green (Massachusetts College of Art and Design)
Intellectual Property Rights Committee

Recycling Copyright Content
by Jen Green (Massachusetts College of Art and Design)

A growing number of academic digital image collections have dramatically changed the way students and faculty can legally access quality images to enhance their education and research. However, students and scholars seeking audio or video files face greater challenges because current copyright law has prevented most academic institutions from attempting to make these formats accessible campus-wide.  However, students often rely on all forms of digital media to fulfill artistic concepts, articulate intellectual thought, and engage in basic communication with their peers. So, if students can’t access audio files they need from their campus resources, they are forced to seek them out elsewhere.  The fact that students download music files illegally is not new information.  But, even though file sharing appears free, copyright abuse cases and campus initiatives designed to crack-down on file sharing remind us that this practice does not come without a price. For some students, access to the right image, video, or audio clip is like having access to the right brushes and paints. It's essential to their concept and they deem it worth the risk. However, librarians, information, and media professionals are faced with the challenge of acknowledging illegal behaviors and speaking with students about the use of digital media in their work.     

Our legal system currently takes a hard line with students caught and proven guilty of sharing digital files. However, the views of Stanford law professor, Lawrence Lessig suggest that a change is (or should be) on the copyright horizon. In last year’s engaging TED talk and his soon-to-be released book Remix, Lessig suggests that the “legal system is making criminals out of young people who produce entertaining or informative videos, music, and other art works through piecing together parts of others’ works."1 Although Lessig emphasizes that there is a difference between abuse of digital media (download, distribute, and sell) and re-use (download, research, create or re-create), he is not advocating that copyright protection should go away, and he suggests that today’s youth should have the opportunity to express themselves through the formats they know and understand: digital. Lessig states that current copyright law is inappropriate for a generation of young people that share digital resources with society in order to express themselves. By restricting youth from communicating and creating in the ways that make sense to them (through digital media), Lessig suggests that we risk raising a generation accustomed to disregarding the law. However, Lessig suggests that lawmakers rethink copyright for modern times and in response to an emerging generation of digital content users, creators, and manipulators.

Lessig’s message encourages those within our legal system to ponder whether accessing and sharing digital files can be modernized. But, there is one question that continues to loom over the whole issue for librarians and other information professionals: What do you say right now to an eager student immersed in a digital world and full of creative ways to manipulate their digital environment?  Currently, librarians and information professionals need to inform students about illegal and legal sources of audio and video files, help students understand the difference between educational use and abuse of any digital media, and inform themselves about the ongoing impact of copyright law on the creative and scholarly process.

1 Foster, Andrea L. "In a New Book, Lessig Says Society Is Turning Artists Into Criminals," Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus. 5 August 2008.

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Digital Scene and Heard
Edited by Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)
Digital Initiatives Advisory Group

Guest Editor Susan Jane Williams (Independent Cataloging and Consulting Services)

Review: New Technologies Online Course
By Susan Jane Williams (Independent Cataloging and Consulting Services)

This August, seeking information on the many new technologies, including Web 2.0 technologies, used in teaching and learning, I enrolled in a 30-day online course offered by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) of Simmons College. Their full roster of continuing education offerings may be found at: http://www.simmons.edu/gslis/continuinged/

The course cost $250 and a Certificate of Continuing Education Units is given at the completion of the course. Other professional development credits may be arranged. The course is offered using Moodle, an open source course management system. The contents were delivered via web pages with links, PowerPoints converted into PDF for viewing and printing/downloading, and blog/chat areas. The course was structured so that all the course content was available immediately and the student can log on anytime during a one month period to complete the coursework, which was divided into modules. This is an ideal setup for working professionals. There was no requirement to participate in the blogs or chat, and most students did not, although there were a few interesting strings to read. Not only was the content self-paced, but any exercises offered in the course plans were self-evaluated; there was no grading or submission of work in the course. All of the course content could be downloaded; I did this and I am sure I will be referring to this material as I have more time or the desire to further engage with the tools and software discussed. Although the blogs and chat opportunities could have afforded the opportunity to engage in more in-depth assessment of the efficacy of these tools, this group did not choose to do so. Other graduate courses delve into these matters and engage in more critical assessment (see below).

A taste of the course and the PDF/PowerPoints can be seen here: http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/CE/.  The (unseen, online) instructor, Megan Fox, was adept at presenting the material and provided many useful links showing how the technologies are being used in libraries across the nation. Her lists of URLs in each module are probably the greatest value of the course. Not only do they include examples of the technology in use, but the means to link into librarian blogs and germane sources of current information, including RSS feeds on the topics. It is clear that this is a time for learning and adaptation on the part of libraries and librarians and information professionals. In this, visual resources professionals should recognize a great deal of common ground. This course was naturally geared towards librarians; in the opening short survey of the students there was not even the ability to list other fields such as information professionals in commercial settings, nor the visual resources specialty. The course was weak in presenting technologies allied specifically to image use (only Flickr was briefly covered); however at the point in the course where this would have been introduced, there was already the beginning of information overload. This is a large area, and the amount and depth of information seemed appropriate to what could be absorbed in the time allotted.

The course could also have been a bit stronger in using the new technologies, such as YouTube, to teach the new technologies, but this might have been a concern for the student’s bandwidth, and to keep the content itself easy to deal with and portable. I noted many misspellings in the content, which I found a bit dismaying for an assistant professor in library science; the fact that I noticed this made me feel my age as well. Among the many shifts that this new technology is creating is an upheaval to our language and its written (and spoken) expression. In the age of text messaging and instant messaging the medium is the message (massage) in ways that Marshall McLuhan foretold.

Ms. Fox’s area of deepest current interest is trends in mobile tools, i.e. cell phone and pda-based tools and applications. This is a fascinating area. She points out that libraries need to rethink banning cell phones and instead learn how to integrate them in the library patron experience. One example is the Simmons library catalog. They have added a feature that allows students to text a citation to their phone, so they don’t even have to write down a call number when they head to the stacks to get a book. See http://library.simmons.edu/search (Perform a search, and select a work; note the button “Send via Text Message.”)

In March, with the introduction of the iPhone 2.0 software, technology writer David Pogue, not usually given to hyperbole, announced that it represented “the birth of a third major computer platform.” This phone (and others), already allow the transfer of cell phone camera pictures and other pictures to flow from the mobile device to the web (Flickr) and back, in addition to being a mobile Internet and communication platform. This single module, which was well presented with a good depth of information, probably justified the course cost in terms of being thought provoking. It made dismissing new technologies and their ongoing impact in our work, professions and lives impossible. What Ms. Fox writes in this module certainly applies throughout all our work: “We don’t want to perpetuate the dichotomy of did you get your information from going to the library OR from going to Google, from a librarian OR from your handheld, but rather we need to be proactive in helping people understand the role we have and value we add as partners within the new mobile world.”

Other courses available

There are also ALA courses geared towards serving young adult and teen patrons

The School of Library and Information Science of IUPUI also offers 1.5 and 3 credit graduate courses in Library Technology Management -

Please contact Jacquelyn Erdman with any questions or suggestions for future columns. For more information on the activities of the Digital Initiatives Advisory Group (DIAG) see http://www.vraweb.org/diag/index.htm.

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Books, Articles and More
Compiled by Elizabeth Berenz (ARTstor)

The International Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects. Primary Research Group.

The study presents data from more than 100 library & museum digitization programs from academic, public and special libraries and museums in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, the UK and other countries. The mean annual budget for the digitization projects that contributed to the sample was $122,408, with a range from $0 to $1.963 million.  The reports presents data on sources of funding, the outlook for raising money for additional projects, collaboration within and outside of institutions, staffing of digitization projects, spending on hardware and software, practices on rights, permissions and copyright clearance, outsourcing, staff training, impact of digitization on preservation mediums, cataloging issues, marketing of digitization projects and other aspects of library and museum digitization project management. Data is broken out by size and type of digitization project and by size and type of institution. Data is presented separately for text, photograph, audio, and film/video intensive projects. [as posted on ARLIS-L]

Yoo, Hee-Gwone, and Kristen A. Regina. Visual Resources from Russia and Eastern Europe in the New York Public Library: A Checklist. New York: Ross Publishing, Inc., 2008.

The New York Public Library has few peers outside of Russia. However, the rich holdings are spread throughout the Library and not easily accessible in toto.  Fortunately, in the future access will be greatly facilitated by a new volume being issued by Ross Publishing. The work describes nearly 900 heavily illustrated books, journals, posters, engravings and prints, as well as original works of art on paper, in the Library’s collections, principally from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. In the words of art historian John E. Bowlt, the “…books, albums, folios in The New York Public Library constitute a unique collection for the study of Russian art, architecture, the applied arts and material culture in the Western world."

This new volume is the first attempt to analyze the Library's illustrated books and works on paper in detail. The Introduction explains the significance of the illustrated Russian book and situates New York Public Library's holdings in the context of other libraries with similar collections.  A Preface by John Bowlt provides broader context.  Visual Resources from Russia and Eastern Europe in The New York Public Library, A Checklist was compiled by Hee-Gwone Yoo, The New York Public Library, and edited by Kristen Regina, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, who also wrote the Introduction.

Among the topics and subjects covered are art and archaeology, militaria, travel, ethnography, cartography, depictions of historic sites and book design. The work is enhanced by more than 120 color illustrations drawn from those items in the core list that can be found only in The New York Public Library.  The utility of the Checklist is further enhanced by a series of seven appendices that list approximately 3,000 individual plates and images contained in a selected number of heavily illustrated reference books, such as Fedor Solntsev's Drevnosti rossiisskogo gosudarstva [Antiquities of the Russian State] (1849-1853) and Dmitrii Rovinskii's Materialy dlia russkoi ikonografii [Materials for Russian Iconography] (1884-1890), as well as several large groups of early Soviet posters, prints and broadsides and Constructivist book covers. In addition to the appendices the work also includes an exhaustive index by subject, title, publisher, date of publication and personal names to facilitate access to the various works.

Each entry includes an English translation of the title and a bibliographic description.  Titles originally in Cyrillic have been transliterated. The works cataloged are mostly found in the Slavic and Baltic Division.  However, many other divisions of the Library are also represented.

Hee-Gwone Yoo is a Librarian at The New York Public Library.  Kristen Regina is the Chief Art Librarian of the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens Art Research Library in Washington, D.C.  Professor John E. Bowlt is at the Institute of Modern Russian Culture, University of Southern California. The book–the culmination of three years’ efforts by Mr. Yoo and Ms. Regina.  The publication date is November 1, 2008.  The present work is part of “The New York Public Library Slavic, Baltic, and Eurasian Resource Series,” from Ross Publishing LLC.  [as posted on ARLIS-L]

Positions Filled
Compliled by Anne Norcross (Kendall College of Art & Design)

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Lise Hawkos is the new Visual Resources Curator/Lecturer for the Department of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Prior to accepting the position at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Lise was the Visual Resource curator at the School of Art, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Yale University Library
Carolyn Caizzi is the new Technology Specialist for the Visual Resources Collection at Yale University Library. In her new position, Carolyn will be a liaison to faculty who want to incorporate images and other multimedia into their teaching. She will also be an advocate for the Visual Resources Collection at Yale.

Carolyn has an MLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MFA in Studio Art/Digital Video from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an AB in Art-Semiotics from Brown University. She came to this position after a one-year position as Digitization Manager for the Semyon Fridlyand Photo Archive at the University of Denver. Prior to that she worked at Northwestern University Library as a Multimedia Services Assistant in its Digital Media Services department.

University of Alberta
Erik McRae has joined the University of Alberta in Edmonton as the new Curator of the Visual Resources Centre. Eric will be responsible for creating digital images for the art history faculty, with the long-term goal to develop a digital image database that is useable for both faculty and students.  He will also be responsible for developing VRC policies with respect to copyright and work flows, as well as overseeing the preservation of the 35mm slide collection.

Eric has a BA in Art History from the University of California, Irvine
(2005), and an MA in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin (2007). As a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, Erik worked in the Visual Resource Collection where Dr. Sigrid Knudsen provided his training.

Upcoming Conferences
Compiled by Brooke Cox (DePauw University)

Persistence of Memory: Sustaining Digital Collections
December 9-10, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

Participation and Collaboration: Social Learning for the 21st Century
Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting

January 20-22, 2009
Orlando, Florida

ALA Midwinter Meeting
January 23-28, 2009
Denver, Colorado

College Art Association Annual Conference
February 25–28, 2009
Los Angeles, California

Association of Architecture School Librarians Annual Conference
March 26-29, 2009
Portland, Oregon

Chapter News
Compiled by Trudy Levy (Image Integration)

VRA Great Lakes and VRA Midwest Chapters
Submitted by Marlene Gordon (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

The Great Lakes and Midwest chapters will hold a joint meeting on November 14-15, 2008 at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Midwestern Art Cataloging Discussion Group will be attending as guests. Hosted by Leigh Gates, the meeting will be held in the Stock Exchange Trading Room designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. Two training sessions will be offered during the morning. Afternoon sessions will include a presentation by Kari Smith (University of Michigan) on a workshop from the San Diego conference, "Seeking the Right Path for Visual Resources Users." Our esteemed VRA President, Allan Kohl, will offer a question and answer period, aka, Stump the Prez. During the remainder of the afternoon, attendees will be able to tour the AIC on their own prior to a group tour of the Fashion Resource Center. A dinner will conclude the day. On Saturday, participants can spend the day touring Chicago on their own.

Greater New York Regional Chapter
Submitted by Billy Kwan (Metropolitan Museum)

Upcoming Event - Fall 2008 Program on Digital Preservation at Bobst Library, NYU

With many thanks to Sherman Clarke and Jenni Rodda, our VRA Greater New York Regional Chapter fall meeting will be held on Friday, November 7th, 2008, 3-6 p.m., in the Avery Fisher Center at Bobst Library, NYU. We will have our business meeting and then a presentation/discussion on digital preservation by NYU Digital Conversion Specialist Melitte Buchman. A reception will follow. We will send out further details in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Mid-Atlantic Chapter
Submitted by Elizabeth Gushee (University of Virginia)

Joint Meeting of DC-MD-VA Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Visual Resources Association
National Gallery of Art
October 24, 2008

Meeting Agenda

9:15-10:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast Terrace Café

10:00-10:35 Rare Books and Images in the National Gallery of Art Library

10:45-11:20 (two concurrent sessions)
Neal Turtell, Executive Librarian and Gregory Most, Chief, Department of Image Collections, will discuss and display some of the treasures contained in the National Gallery of Art Library. In order to facilitate easier viewing and discussion of the rare books and photographs, attendees will be split into two groups and will then change rooms. Library staff will also demonstrate Oculus, the NGA Library’s digital image database.

11:30-12:30 Chapter Meetings NGA Library
Elizabeth Gushee, Chair, Mid-Atlantic VRA Chapter
Kristen Regina, Chair, ARLIS/DC-MD-VA

12:30-1:50 Luncheon Terrace Café

Southern California Chapter
Submitted by John M. Trendler (Scripps College)

The Fall meeting of the Visual Resource Association’s Southern California Chapter will be held Friday, November 21st at the Gemological Institute of America, located in Carlsbad, Ca. More information on programming will be announced soon.

The California Art Association’s National Conference will be held in Los Angeles this year, February 25-28th, 2009. As an Affiliated Society the Visual Resource Association’s Southern California Chapter will be hosting a VRA business meeting and we’d like to invite all VRA members as well as other interested parties. While there may be some Chapter business, the main focus of the meeting will be to encourage open discussion and information exchange regarding the building of digital image collections in association with the VRA sponsored special session “You Can Do It. We Can Help: Building Digital Image Collections Together.” The session will be on Thursday, Feb. 26th, from 12:30-2pm. We’ll be sending out more information soon.

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