New Resources (February)

What do we think about Yale scrapping their art history survey course? Is that even what this article describes?

A great article celebrating the open access policy at Taiwan’s National Palace Museum, and, from the National Museum of American History, a lovely example of a museum resisting the call for perfection before publishing collection records.

A really interesting resource of historical photography of China, put together by the University of Bristol:

Eagerly awaiting the digital publication related to the upcoming exhibition: Exquisite Patterns: Japanese Textile Design, at the British Library.

Front cover of Ayanishiki / [henshūsha Nishijin Orimonokan] digitized by the British Library
Ayanishiki / [henshūsha Nishijin Orimonokan], (Kyōto: Unsōdō, [Taishō 7 [1918])
The Art Institute of Chicago wrote a piece about how to search their fantastic new online collection:

Like the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, and the Finnish National Gallery, the searching, faceting and presentation of these collections is really changing!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which has led them (Watson Library and the Museum Archives) to digitize the records of Francis Henry Taylor, the 5th director of the museum from 1940-1955. These records make for fascinating reading, especially those concerned with the wartime safety of artworks.

New Resources (January)

A lot of people are probably familiar with the beautiful Closer to Van Eyck website about the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece. The website was recently updated and now includes further works by Jan van Eyck but beware one caveat which has been pointed out by Douglas McCarthy, Collections Manager at Europeana:

“These images are not available for commercial publications or other items made for profit. Images will be provided free of charge for scholarly publications, although shipping and handling fees may apply.”

CODART claims this while also stating that the website provides “high-quality, standardized technical images of the paintings available online in open access.”

Screenshot from: Closer to van Eyck. Map of Europe with van Eyck paintings located.
Screenshot from: Closer to van Eyck. Map of Europe with van Eyck paintings located.

Given that van Eyck died in 1441 these images should really be available at no fee. Thankfully, in a few years all European institutions will have to abide by Article 14: what is in the public domain in analogue form stays in the public domain in digital.

Emma Stanford, Digital Curator at the Bodleian Digital Library, created a quiz to help you find your favorite manuscript in their collection. Take it and see! Click here.

Botanical drawings of Chinese plants with Chinese names. Bodleian MS 5304. fol. 15r
Botanical drawings of Chinese plants with Chinese names. Bodleian MS 5304. fol. 15r

The New York-based Wildenstein-Plattner Institute (WPI) is digitizing and will make available their archives: 100 years of annotated sale catalogues, letters and notes.

Over 100,000+ artworks from 14 Paris museums are now available as open content!

The Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia has recently digitized over 1,000 drawings, prints, watercolors and posters and made high resolution images available online!

Glorious glass lantern slides

Below are just a few examples of the amazing images we have found while weeding through our collection of glass lantern slides. We have started the digitization of a few key sub-collections. For the full collection we will post an inventory of the locations represented and digitize them as requested.


New Resources (December)

Check out this 3D image of a Japanese folding screen (Edo period, mid 17th c. by Master of I-nen Seal (1600-1630), F1962.30) from the Sackler Museum and then look at it through the collections  image viewer:

Hooray for 3D imaging and Sketchfab!

There is a new absolutely gorgeous online collection for the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst):

Learn more about the process of putting their collections online here.

Read this interesting article: The Great Wave: what Hokusai’s masterpiece tells us about museums, copyright and online collections today. By Douglas McCarthy of Europeana.

New Resources (November)

Firstly, you can now download high resolution images of every plate in John J. Audubon’s Birds of America Book!:

If you came to the Matthew Lincoln talk you may find this blog post from the digital humanities center at UVa (the Scholar’s Lab) really interesting: Thinking About [Art] Collections As Data

Newly digitized collections at the Library of Congress include the history of women’s suffrage, Civil War history, and Olmstead Associates Landscape Architectural Firm.

Explore projects at the University of Chicago to provide images of Buddhist works spread across museums back into context and with 3-D viewing. The Xiangtangshan Caves Project and the Tianlongshan Caves Project.

The Judy Chicago Research Portal bridges collections housed at Penn State University, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.


New Resources (mid-September)

Ben Zweig, Digital Projects Coordinator at the National Gallery, DC recently tweeted that 22,000 high resolution CCO images from the print collection  of the National Gallery have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. A great resource.

Amazing conversations and work have come out of The Museums and Artificial Intelligence Network New York Conference and it is best summed up by Mia Ridge here. It was centered on two themes: AI and visitor data and AI and collections data. At the conference the Cooper Hewitt launched their Interaction Lab where they are “reimagining the museum experience for the 21st Century.” If you are interested in collections analysis check out Identifying Art Through Machine Learning which is a project between MoMA and Google Arts and Culture Lab.

An international forum on the art catalogue: Reloading catalogs. If anything from this is posted online we will post a link here.

Summer catch-up

Digital Humanities/Digital Art History

A great article by Sander Münster and Melissa Terras:  The visual side of digital humanities: a survey on topics, researchers, and epistemic cultures, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

Slides of the final presentation of Harald Klinke from his seminar on data analysis with the MET and MoMA collections (in German).

New/Improved Digital Collections:

Searching by COLOR is now available with the Library of Congress collections and the Art Institute of Chicago

Explore the University of Oregon exhibition on Yōkai Senjafuda: a digital exhibition focuses on tiny slips of paper—senjafuda 千社札—that depict Japanese ghosts and monsters—yōkai 妖怪.

Finally, in Public Domain news: a new EU copyright directive was passed and Article 14 ensures that digital reproductions of artworks in the public domain cannot not also be in the public domain. What is public domain in analogue form must stay in the public domain in digital form. EU member states have until June 2021 to ensure their laws comply.


Petrie Museum publishes open access book

The Petrie Museum (a class act all the way!) released an Open Access Book: Characters and Collections edited by the incomparable @alicestevenson.

Richly illustrated and engagingly written, the book moves back and forth between recent history and the ancient past, between objects and people. Experts discuss the discovery, history and care of key objects in the collections such as the Koptos lions and Roman era panel portraits. The rich and varied history of the Petrie Museum is revealed by the secrets that sit on its shelves.
Click on the image above for a pdf.