Visual Resources Update December/January 2022-2023

Visual Resources Update December/January 2022-2023

Monuments Men and Women in Permanent Exhibition

A man in an army uniform is standing and turning pages in a large book while looking at the photographer.
Captain B. Marriott, Regional MFAA Officer. A. S. Pennoyer Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

Visual Resources is pleased to provide high quality images from the Albert Sheldon Pennoyer Collection for use in a permanent exhibition at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. The collection is unique in that many of the operation’s principal officers are both captured and identified by Pennoyer in a series of portraits that comprise one of six photo albums. The Monuments Men and Women Foundation in Dallas, Texas is helping mount the New Orleans exhibition, and we look forward to a future visit to see this department collection displayed for the public.

Wintersession workshops: mosaics and GLAM data

A young woman is seated at a table holding pliers and wearing safety goggles. To the left a woman leans over her, instructing.
Yichin Chen instructs one of the students in the mosaic workshop. Photo: John Blazejewski.
Full view of completed color stone mosaic.
Completed mosaic by session participant, Grace Coller. Photo: Grace Coller.
Man at podium (Matt Chandler) instructing class in data cleaning practices
Matt Chandler, Research Data Services Manager at Princeton University Library, instructing on data cleaning (Photo: John Blazejewski)

VR facilitated two wintersession workshops on January 17 and 18: one on mosaics and another on data visualization of museum collection information (specifically, that of the Princeton University Art Museum). We would like to thank our collaborators: Katy Knortz and Bart Devolder for the mosaic session. Katy provided an overview of the history of mosaics and their construction in antiquity and Bart showed the challenges of removing the Antioch mosaics embedded in the University Museum walls, an awe-inspiring task. More thanks go to Carolina Roe-Raymond (Data Visualization Analyst, Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering), Matt Chandler (Research Data Services Manager, Princeton University Library) and Frances Lloyd-Baynes (Manager, Art Information, Princeton University Art Museum) who walked participants through museum collection data structures, and how to clean and visualize the information within. We intend to offer more workshops on working with data, so please let us know what you would like!

Dr. Leigh Lieberman at AIASCS

Leigh Lieberman at a podium speaking with a projected image to the right
Dr. Leigh Lieberman at the podium for AIA/SCS January 6 2023, photo by Dr. Sarah Bond

Leigh organized a workshop sponsored by the Forum for Classics, Libraries, and Scholarly Communication (the FCLSC) for the joint annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies this January in New Orleans, Louisiana. The workshop, entitled Supporting Open Data: Challenges and Potential Opportunities, brought together developers, librarians, researchers, and instructors to discuss how our institutions can begin the long and expensive process of adapting infrastructures to not just accommodate but promote open data, as well as the potential outcomes of this important shift for the study of the Greco-Roman world. By focusing on these potential outcomes, the panelists demonstrated how we can begin to develop standards that not only incentivize open data publishing in our disciplines, but also prioritize the creation of sustainable, scalable models for the institutions that maintain them.

Interesting resources and projects

Katy Fortney, of the California Digital Library, offers an excellent overview of the challenges of publishing with images in her article:  Images, Copyright, and the Future of Digital Publishing in the Arts.

A NEW YEAR = NEW PUBLIC DOMAIN and you can see a collection of works from the Princeton University Library Special Collections now in the public domain in this digital exhibition.

Harvard student Cynthia Chen created this interactive data visualization of color in acrylic works at the Harvard Art Museums. She used their open API and a platform for creative coding called Open Processing.

Explore an exhibition of a collection similar in nature to the Brünnow and Butler collections in Visual Resources–that of the German Turfan Expeditions (1902-1914) to central Asia.

Visual Resources Update November 2022

Visual Resources Presentations in November

Visual Resources staff Julia Gearhart, Yichin Chen and Leigh Lieberman were delighted to present to ART 400, the Junior Seminar, on Thursday, November 10. Julia and Yichin spoke about the history of images in the art history classroom, and some of the benefits and challenges of the multitude of digital images available today. Leigh spoke about good digital practices for A&A students, including collecting, managing, and sharing data. On November 16 Julia spoke to Prof. Janet Kay’s class, ART 402, Ethics in Archaeology, about the history of A&A excavations and ethical considerations in archives.

A man with white hair and mustache sitting at table working on a laptop.
Dr. Shelley Stone (photograph by John Blazejewski)

Dr. Shelley Stone, Professor Emeritus of Art History, CSU Bakersfield, visited the Morgantina excavation archives November 8-11 to finalize some digitization requests for forthcoming publications.

ASOR Conference

Leigh also co-led a workshop with her colleague Tiffany Earley-Spadoni called Digging Up Data: A Showcase of Ongoing Digital Scholarship Projects for both the virtual and in person annual meetings of the American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR). The workshop showcased the individual journeys of scholars who spent the previous year developing digital, data-driven, public-facing projects as a part of the experimental professional development program launched by Leigh and Tiffany, a program that has received excellent feedback and support from ASOR leadership. We are also very pleased to hear that Profs. Andrea DeGiorgi and Asa Eger received the G. Ernest Wright Book Award for ANTIOCH: A History at the ASOR conference as well.

Interesting resources and projects:

Small thumbnail images of works of art overlap each other on a black background.
Screenshot from Surprise Machines

Surprise Machines is an interactive visualization of the Harvard Art Museums’ 200,000 objects. It is a collaboration between the museum and metaLAB that is part of an exhibition series called Curatorial A(i)gents intended to “investigate innovative curatorial practices through AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques.” The installation involves a large monitor showing digital images of museum objects that the viewer can control (zooming, dragging, scrolling, etc.) with their body movement. Read the paper on Surprise Machines: Revealing Harvard Art Museums’ Image Collection.

Another interesting visualization is derived from this dataset of annual exhibitions of the Association of Fine Artists, Vienna between 1869-1900. The resulting visualization uses Gephi and Retina.

If you are interested in the visualization of museum collections please sign up for our Wintercession workshop on January 18, 2023 titled Data Literacy and Visualization for GLAM Collections (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). Registration will open December 1.

Finally, take a virtual tour inside the Khufu’s Pyramid at Giza and read about how it was made. 


Visual Resources Update October 2022

The Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Lecture

Man with white hair leaning over a table examining a photo album with black pages and black and white photographs
Dr. Fikret K. Yegül examining an album thought to have belonged to one of the engineers working at Sardis in 1910.

On Monday October 3 Visual Resources hosted Dr. Fikret K. Yegül for the hybrid Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Lecture. Dr. Yegül’s lecture was a thoughtful, nuanced examination of the life and career of an exceptional man. Thank you to everyone who attended and we hope to continue to bring to life more of the amazing stories in the archives.

ASOR workshop by Leigh Lieberman

Leigh Lieberman co-led a workshop at The American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR) Virtual Meeting on October 19 titled Digging Up Data: A Showcase of Ongoing Digital Scholarship Projects. If anyone is interested in learning more, please reach out to Leigh at:

Continued lantern slide digitization

Interior courtyard of a stone, multilevel building with a man in a loincloth on the top floor.
From our collection on Indian Architecture. Original label: “Diving well at the Kootub (showing a man on the point of taking a wonderful leap).” Perhaps Qutb complex, Delhi. No date given.

We are continuing to digitize and share the lantern slides of historic sites in Greece, and more recently, the architecture of India. There appear to be about 800 slides of traditional Indian architecture plus sculpture and decorative arts of southeast Asia: all appear to be taken pre-1945. If you would like to see the collection please reach out.

News and resources:

OpenBibArt: a freely available database that brings together the legacy bibliography data from Répertoire d’Art et d’Archéologie, Répertoire International de la Littérature de l’Art, and Bibliographie d’Histoire de l’Art. Search in French or English to discover citations from 1.2 million journal articles, books, exhibition and auction sales catalogues published between 1910 and 2007.

From the V&A: a beautiful, redesigned website for the Chinese Iconography Thesaurus

Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments

The Uffizi is suing Jean Paul Gautier for using Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in a clothing collection: The Uffizi vs. Jean Paul Gautier: A Public Domain Perspective

Allmaps: curating, georeferencing, and exploring for iiif maps

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.

Visual Resources Update May 2022

Visual Resources Update May 2022

Elongated brass cross hanging in doorway
The Moses Cross at the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai. Image Courtesy the Michigan-Princeton-Alexandria Expeditions to Mount Sinai.

Visual Resources is the recipient of a co-sponsorship grant from the Princeton University Humanities Council, which will combine with funding from Tufts University to support enhancements to the Sinai Archive project ( The 6-month grant will fund graduate student work in content creation and metadata improvements as well as developer work to improve site accessibility and search features.

Ancient building with marble columns of female figures and a woman reaching up to the shoulder of one.
Label reads: Erechtheion. Caryatid Porch w. Mrs. Andrews [?]. Could possibly be wife of Eugene P. Andrews (1866-1957), Prof. of Archaeology, Cornell University
Thanks to student workers Jaylyn Murillo and Fariha Shoily, and A&A graduate student Katy Knortz, the digitization of lantern slides of archaeological sites in Greece is about 1/3 of the way done. We have 1500 slides captured and will be collaborating with the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies to verify image information and publish online.

Upcoming VR summer projects include:

  • Re-boxing and wrapping photographic negatives for storage in our new freezers that provide improved temperature and humidity control.
  • Senior Staff Photographer John Blazejewski is photographing oversized drawings and plans from the Antioch excavation archives to support the team working on publishing the excavation results of the nearby city of Daphne.

Interesting projects and resources:

The National Gallery of Art created a Wordle-type game for art, try it here.

Koç University Digital Collections has a fascinating exhibition online called “Touching the Past: What Do the Istanbul City Walls Photographs of Cahide Tamer Tell Us?”

KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) has digitized and made full text searchable their collection of incunabula.

For those using Zotero, Rachael Berryman (PhD Candidate, Curtin University, Perth) has made an informative guide available.

See you back in August in preparation for the fall semester!

Visual Resources Update April 2022

Visual Resources Update April 2022

native american man with hand to chin, looking left
Gertrude Käsebier, [Native American man], platinum print, ca. 1899. Amon Carter Museum.
Prof. Martha Sandweiss in the Department of History recently donated her 35mm slide collection to VR. We are currently sorting through the contents, including works from the Amon Carter Museum, which Sandweiss collected as an historian of the American West. This subject area is an exciting addition to the general image collection. If anyone is interested in looking through the slides, please stop by 2N7/8 or contact

Black and white skyline of Baltimore

VR took part in the annual Visual Resources Association conference, attending talks on accessibility support in digital collections, digital visualization tools in the humanities, and the very analog role visual resource centers are playing in providing object collections in support of art history courses.

Interesting resources and projects:

The Getty Museum has launched a major update to its collection pages: which includes new features such as a CCO API. What is that? It is a way to directly query the full collection programmatically. Thankfully, they have also offered three tutorials to explain how to use the API, what Linked Art is all about, and how to build your own visual analysis of linked cultural heritage records.

Photographic archives: lists in script, boxes, black and white photographic prints

Archival Practices in the Photothek: An Online Exhibition of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

As the exhibition lays out in its introductory paragraph: “Archives are no temples of memory where documents of the past are simply preserved. They are rather places where documents are produced, transformed, and reconfigured to be passed on to future generations, as well as to find new uses for them.” Explore a fundamental art historical collection through this fascinating exhibit.

Pink sunrise across an ocean with large rock formations in the foreground

Open Copyright Education Advisory Network (OCEAN) is a new initiative to address cultural heritage professionals’ need for up-to-date, reliable copyright education.

A new article examining archaeological archives is especially pertinent to those working on the Antioch excavation archive. In it, Chloë Ward writes: “Looking at the different contexts of an excavation archive, from before its creation to its ongoing curation and use, can reveal significant aspects not just of the history of archaeology but also on many of the ongoing recording methods and processes still used in the field today.”

See: Ward, C. (2022). Excavating the Archive / Archiving the Excavation: Archival Processes and Contexts in Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 1-17. doi:10.1017/aap.2022.1

Visual Resources Update March 2022

Sherds have arrived!

Very recently transferred back to Princeton from the Walters Art Museum, an extensive variety of pottery sherds from the Excavation of Antioch-on-the-Orontes is now available for use as a teaching collection. Thanks to Profs. Arrington and Blessing for their insights on arrangement and identification.

Four pieces of stone: Green marble from Thessaly, Red marble, Onyx, Porphyry
Four pieces of stone: Onyx, Green marble from Thessaly, Red marble, Porphyry

Our marble and stone collection was available for students to examine in HIS 210 The World of Late Antiquity (Prof. Jack Tannous). Students handled four of the ten types of marble used in the construction and decoration of the Hagia Sophia. Thanks to Prof. Holzman for making this identification and sharing it with others on campus.

We are excited to be supporting innovative utilization of the iiif image standard in ART 483. Students are testing Storiiies and and we look forward to seeing their final projects.

After working with us since his first year at Princeton, we are sad to see Jacob Wheeler ’20 leave, but thrilled to support his next venture as Digitization Specialist at the University of Chicago.

Interesting projects and resources:

Library of Congress Labs’ Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud (CCHC) initiative explores pathways for the Library to deliver its digital collections at scale, using a cloud computing environment. Read this post describing the outcomes of their work so far. Of particular interest to VR is using computer vision to analyze photography collections. Click here to see the interactive visualization component of the project on Access and Discovery of Documentary Images (ADDI).

Results of the DH Awards are now posted. Lots of interesting resources.

If you have been on the fence about trying the reference manager Zotero, check out version 6 with new functionality and a Zotero app for iOS.

Screenshot of Parthenon digital exhibiton: opaque model of temple with yellow section, the south frieze, highlighted
Screenshot of The Parthenon frieze website

The world famous Parthenon frieze is available online for everyone to explore in a new, interactive, bilingual, web application.

Learn about how Artificial Intelligence is being used to analyze Greek inscriptions in the journal Nature.

And finally, this eye-opening post about the ever-frustrating sphere of image rights:

Screenshot of tweet showing Getty Images is charging for a free public domain image

Visual Resources Update February 2022

Visual Resources Update February 2022

Students around a conference table looking at a artwork projected on the wall and on a large monitor

VR was happy to take part in Lucy Partman’s (Ph.D., 2021) ART106 Looking Lab: Experiments in Visual Thinking and Thinking about Visuals course on February 10. Yichin Chen provided glass lantern slide and 35mm slide projection as well as a demonstration of a stereoscope using cards from the department collections.

Two men and one seated woman looking at large maps underneath plastic on a table

Visual Resources delivered three large handmade maps to the Maps and Geospatial Information Center in the Fine Hall Wing of Lewis Library, where GIS librarian Wangyal Shawa and his team have generously offered to scan the maps and help us georeference them. The maps are from the Howard Crosby Butler Expeditions to Syria (1899, 1904/5 and 1909). The GIS center will publish the maps on their platform, allowing them to be discoverable and usable on platforms like StoryMaps.

Banner for NYCDH week virtual conference, with NYC skyline in background

Yichin Chen participated in 2022 NYC Digital Humanities Week. Workshops of note were an introduction to Manifold, an open-source publishing platform that allows researchers to publish their scholarly works and get feedback through annotations and reading groups. This platform is suitable for text-heavy projects that can benefit from community discussion. And a workshop introducing Python, which could help us sort and clean messy data: some of the most popular uses of this programming language are for data analysis and automating repetitive tasks.

Interesting projects and resources:

Black and white engraving with tools, examples of different kinds of engravings
Screenshot of Kim Albrecht’s Watching Machines Loving Grace

For innovative arts and humanities projects out of Harvard, check out metaLAB’s recent series.

The Bibliothèque du Château de Chantilly has uploaded whole manuscript of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, freely available, in unprecedented image quality.

Black text on left side of bark paper, figures on right perpendicular to writing.
Batak manuscript, orientation presented for reading but illustrations are perpendicular to the writing. British Library, MS 19382, f. 11r

Read a fascinating blog post about the unique technical challenges of digitizing the Batak manuscripts at the British Library.


Visual Resources Update January 2022

Visual Resources Update January 2022

Bottom half of a manuscript page, with a naked man and woman in a forest with two snakes
Sinai Codex 1187 folio 5v: The serpent tempts Adam and Eve

Visual Resources has been helping faculty obtain images and permissions for their forthcoming publications. This semester we are utilizing the new Michigan/Princeton collection to identify images for what will no doubt be a valuable resource: a book on the icon, edited by Prof. Charlie Barber.

If you are a professor, graduate student or undergrad with a digital project idea, or questions about digital skills or platforms, let us know ( We would like to know what the department is interested in exploring and producing.

Interesting projects, resources:

Screenshot of interactive map of Rio de Janeiro with archival map transposed.
A screenshot of Imagine Rio

Imagine Rio is a searchable digital atlas that illustrates the social and urban evolution of Rio de Janeiro, as it existed and as it was imagined. Views of the city created by artists, maps by cartographers, and site plans by architects or urbanists are all located in both time and space.

Thanks to support from the Kress Foundation, Smarthistory has added more than 3,000 high resolution photos of works of art and architecture for teaching and learning. Find them here.

Screenshot of detail of Rembrandt's The Night Watch, with face of bearded man at right, with white lace collar, and portion of man's face at right.
Detail, The Night Watch

The Rijksmuseum has published the largest and most detailed photo ever taken of a work of art (717 gigapixels) of The Night Watch.

Go to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s ‘Virtual CMA Dashboard‘ to view live datasets (updated daily) that answer questions like: What are the most viewed and downloaded artworks? What department of the museum garners the most online views? This is great work visualizing collections.

Screenshot of Cenobium, A Project for the Multimedia Representation of Romanesque Cloister Capitals in the Mediterranean Region
Cenobium: A Project for the Multimedia Representation of Romanesque Cloister Capitals in the Mediterranean Region

CENOBIUM is a KHI (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz) collaborative project with Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche for the multimedia representation of Romanesque cloister capitals in the Mediterranean region.

See a short blog post and explore around 400 images from one of the most successful photography studios in the Ottoman Empire, Abdullah Frères. Europeana is a wonderful aggregation portal offering access to many smaller archives and museums in Europe.


Visual Resources Update December 2021

Visual Resources Update December 2021

Chocolate busts of Metrodorus (left) and Pericles
Chocolate busts of Metrodorus (left) and Pericles.

The food-safe silicone molds were made, the chocolate tempered, the chocolate casts can now be revealed. We have learned a lot about resources on campus, 3d models, molds and casting. If you have any questions about the process, or want to see the models and results, please visit 2-N-7/8 or email

Screenshot of ART202 image viewer within Canvas, with two windows offering comparison of two vases
Screenshot of ART202 image viewer within Canvas, with two windows offering comparison of two vases

We have populated the image viewer in ART202 (Spring, 2022) with 50 objects, many with multiple images, for students to review independently of lectures. If you are interested in having course images in Canvas please contact

The new website for the Michigan-Princeton-Alexandria Expeditions to Sinai is now officially public: This digital collection is unique in its presentation because we offer the cataloguing information on the work of art itself as well as detailed cataloguing information on the images of that work. This is because:

  • the images belong to two separate institutions and they need to be contacted individually for permission to publish
  • the images were created using different kinds of film and lighting, on different years, showing very different views of the same works of art

We look forward to sharing more of the collection through this innovative platform.

Interesting projects, resources:

New digital project from the Getty Museum, MESOPOTAMIA: An intimate look at some extraordinary objects from an exhibition at the Getty Villa.

Screenshot of Harvard Baker Library South Sea Bubble digital exhibition, showing an annotated print
Screenshot of Harvard Baker Library South Sea Bubble digital exhibition, showing an annotated print

The South Sea Bubble Research Portal offers an opportunity to explore the collections of Harvard Baker Library relating to the 1720 financial crisis. Includes interactive annotations of fascinating prints.

Map of the U.S. with green dots indicating Olmsted Firm projects
Map of the U.S. with green dots indicating Olmsted Firm projects

New crowdsourcing project at the Library of Congress: the Frederick Law Olmsted papers. People interested in Olmsted may also enjoy the interactive map showing Olmsted projects across the U.S., available at