Visual Resources Update September 2022

Visual Resources Update September 2022

Welcome back!

Dr. Leigh Lieberman started in August as our Digital Project Specialist. In this capacity, she’s designing programs around, consulting on, and supporting data management strategies, digital scholarship, and computational methods for art historical and archaeological research. She would love to meet with staff, faculty, and students in the department and beyond to discuss ideas related to these areas. To set up a meeting with Leigh, please email her (


Yichin Chen attended the Digital Humanities 2022 conference this summer. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Tarin Clanuwat from Google Brain developed an app (Miwo) for AI Kuzushiji recognition. The app can transcribe text from images users upload. The goal is to help the general public to understand Kuzushiji, or “deformed characters,” and gain access to Japanese historical archives. Link here.

A book of abstracts from the conference can be found here.

Attendees of a formal dinner watch a video screen presentation while eating.
Attendees at the opening reception of Ark of Orthodoxy exhibition at the Maliotis Cultural Center of the Hellenic College of the Holy Cross, Brookline, Ma.

On September 13, 2022 Visual Resources director Julia Gearhart and Maria Alessia Rossi, Research Specialist at the Index of Medieval Art, presented at the opening reception for an exhibition at the Hellenic College of the Holy Cross in Brookline, MA titled “Ark of Orthodoxy” on the cultural significance of Mt. Athos. They spoke about the collection found by VR in 2017 that includes a film, lantern slides, and prints of a 1929 expedition to Mt. Athos. Feel free to reach out to Visual Resources if you are interested in learning more about this unusual and unpublished collection.

Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Lecture Monday October 3, 2022

Please save the date for the Howard Crosby Butler memorial lecture!

A vertical rectangular black and white photo of two ionic columns is in the center middle of the poster design, faint reddish pattern behind it.
For webinar registration, please click here.

The Stairwell Lantern Slide

The wall cling on the left stairway in Green Hall is an installation introducing visitors to our glass lantern slide collection. We resized and collaged the image of the slide for maximum effect in the space. To learn more about the glass lantern slides, please visit VR at 2-N-7 in Green Hall or go to

Two men, one on a ladder, installing a wall decal on a stairway landing.
Installation of vinyl decal of lantern slide by VinylBomb staff in Green Hall North.

VR is always searching for new resources to better store, preserve, and exhibit our collections. This being the first time we built a website from scratch, we chose Collection Builder for the Magic Lantern website because it’s free of charge, sustainable, highly customizable, and visually appealing for online exhibitions. The Magic Lantern exhibition contains a manageable number of images and data so it was a perfect project to try out a new medium. Collection Builder is an open resource framework that uses the static site generator Jekyll to develop digital collections from metadata spreadsheets and digital media. Collection Builder uses 4 components: Jekyll, Git (managed by GitHub), a text editor (in our case Visual Studio Code), and Ruby. Some of the challenges we faced were learning new web development terminologies and tools, and using computer languages to customize the website. But we managed to build the website step by step and with a little support from the Collection Builder team.

Interesting Resources

How to do things with data: Creative re-use of SMK’s digitized collection.

The Missing Chapter project: drawing together a body of photographic portraiture to highlight diverse ‘black presences’ prior to 1948, especially in Victorian and early Edwardian Britain.

Vienna’s Albertina Museum has released 150,000+ collection images into the public domain.