Visual Resources Update May 2024

Visual Resources Update May 2024

Just a reminder that faculty needing publication images are invited to fill out this survey. We are anticipating image needs and will be checking in at points during the year.

Questions for Kristina Zielke: how do old photographs offer new ideas?

Kristina Zielke is a visiting graduate student in A&A from the Freie Universität Berlin.

What brought you to Visual Resources/how did you hear about us?

My supervisor first mentioned Visual Resources during a brief tour of Green Hall. A few weeks later, a friend and colleague told me again about his good experience at Visual Resources and recommended to look for archival material on Olympia.

What were you expecting from the visit? Was it what you expected or different?

As I had already studied the archival material on Olympia in Berlin, Athens and also Olympia, I did not initially have particularly high expectations of finding something unknown to me. As I am working on the boundaries and limitations of Olympia from a longue dureé perspective, I already knew that free-standing walls were usually overlooked by excavators or tourists. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find photographs of Prof. Richard Stillwell as a former Professor at Princeton, who obviously shared my soft spot for walls and documented them. This was a happy coincidence for my research question. As research of ancient walls (whether fortification or otherwise) have received more attention in recent years, Prof. Stillwell’s collection of walls forms an important collection for comparative studies.

Well-dressed man with hat leaning over a stone wall writing something
One of the hand-colored glass lantern slides labeled “Olympia” in the Visual Resources collection. It is unclear exactly who this man is, but he could possibly be Wilhelm Dörpfeld.

Was it helpful to your research? How?

The visit to Visual Resources was very helpful for my work. Thanks to R. Stillwell’s photographs, images of various walls and water channels have been preserved, which can no longer be seen today as the walking level has been raised to improve accessibility for tourists. In addition, some photographs show wall structures that are now in a poor state of preservation and thus reflect the condition shortly after being excavated. This helps significantly to get a picture of their before being exposed to almost 150 years of weathering. I also came across a photo that shows a specific wall in Olympia down to its foundation, which underlined my thesis on the walls origin and it’s dating.

blocks of stone litter the ground, with trees growing in between
Row of ruins to west of the Echo Colonnade, Olympia, Greece (Image 253081, Richard Stillwell Collection, Visual Resources)

What is your experience using (and working in) archaeological archives or photographic archives? How do they feature in your research?

Since the excavations in Olympia took place at a time when photographs were very expensive and time-consuming, my work is largely dependent on archives. Particularly in the case of archaeological sites that have a longer modern history due to early excavations, reports or photographs are often the only source of information about the in situ state. Archaeological sites are not frozen in time after being excavated. The monuments are exposed to the weather, natural disasters, as well as humans and animals. Additionally, the desire to make the sites attractive for tourism requires certain measures of accessibility and preservation. The first major excavation in Olympia took place in 1875-1881, since then the terrain changed considerably. Paths were installed for tourist accessibility, and, in the process, numerous disruptive structures were removed, the walking level was raised, restorations were carried out. By comparing photographs over the course of time can therefore be essential for building research.

Can you describe the relationship (similarities, differences, etc.) between archival research and excavation? How, in your mind, can the two research practices support each other?

All fieldwork is based on thorough and objective documentation. Every excavation is a destruction of otherwise untouched ground as the excavated soil can never be reversed. Therefore, the archival studies are oftentimes a prerequisite for starting fieldwork, to ensure that an excavation has not already taken place at the selected site in earlier times. Sometimes trenches get filled in again after the work was completed in order to ensure the preservation of certain the structures. In this case, the documentation of the finds that are no longer visible (e.g. reports, excavation diaries, drawings, photos) are essential to research and may offer the possibility of new interpretations in later times, if more knowledge about a certain topic could be gained.

Thank you, Kristina for visiting and sharing your work. If anyone is interested in the historic photograph collection please reach out to or

Digital Methods in Ancient History

A number of people stand at a long counter with pots and pans listening to a male chef
Students in Lieberman and Cheung’s class, The Science of Roman History, enjoying a feast inspired by ancient recipes at New College West.

This past semester, Leigh Lieberman co-taught a course with Caroline Cheung called The Science of Roman History (CLA 247). Roman history courses usually cover the grand narratives based on the more traditional, literary evidence. Usually these courses leave no room for discussing how knowledge is created and the new and different methods for studying ancient history. This course instead looked at different questions to shed light on fruitful collaborations between scholars from different fields, prompting students to engage with STEM and digital humanities methods as we considered historical questions. Through different case studies and hands-on activities, students learned how different scientific, technological, and computational methods help us employ a multi-disciplinary approach to learning about the ancient past.

Screenshot of final digital projects for the Science of Roman History (CLA 247)
The StoryMaps Collection from The Science of Roman History, accessible to members of the Princeton community (who have set up a free Princeton ArcGIS Online account):

Throughout the semester, students focused their efforts on an object from The Princeton University Art Museum or Firestone Special Collections; their final projects outlined various scientific analyses that one could pursue to learn more about that object (i.e.: XRF, isotope analysis, statistical study, spatial study, etc.). These final projects were transformed, using ESRI’s ArcGIS StoryMaps, into a collaborative, multi-modal publication, giving the students an opportunity to gain some experience writing for public audiences.

Presentation of the 1929 Mount Athos Film at the Icon Museum and Study Center, Clinton MA

On Saturday, June 8th, at 1pm Julia Gearhart will be presenting at the Icon Museum and Study Center in Clinton Massachusetts thanks to the invitation of A&A alum and now museum curator, Justin Willson. Julia will be screening the 1929 film footage of Mount Athos that was discovered in the department in 2017 as part of a double matinee with Argyris Liapis’s documentary: Athos, the World’s Brightest Peak, winner of the Astron Award (Audience Favorite) at the 18th San Francisco Greek Film Festival in 2021.

The monthly update will be taking a break during the summer – see you in August!

Visual Resources Update April 2024

Visual Resources Update April 2024

Students in Art 102 Use the Day-Klauder Collection

Students examine open books at a long table while a man stands in front of a large monitor instructing them.
Prof. Basile Baudez has students in his Art 102 precept examine the Day-Klauder albums from Visual Resources.

The Day-Klauder albums were originally part of a reference library of the Day and Klauder architectural firm, founded in 1912 in Philadelphia. Day and Klauder were responsible for designing many college campus buildings across the United States. At Princeton, they built nine significant structures, among them Holder Hall (1909) and Hamilton Hall (1911).

JSTOR shares new features for JSTOR images, here are some takeaways:

  • In JSTOR you have a Workspace where you can save images and texts, organize those items into folders, and add notes to them.
  • You can save zoomed-in views to your Workspace, and export them.
  • There is an images landing page for searching and browsing: where you can choose to limit search by classifications or to Artstor collections.
  • You can now refine your results by Image Resolution and Collection.
  • You can now sort by Title and Creator in the search results as well as download directly from the search results page.
  • Coming soon: Support for personal collections on JSTOR. You will be able to upload files to a workspace and use with the JSTOR iiif viewer. These can be shared within your institution.

JSTOR has very helpful videos on Youtube.

Prof. Andy Watsky donates his photographic collection to Visual Resources

Open pages of a binder of plastic sleeves holding black and white photographs and negatives
An example of some of the high quality prints and negatives in Prof. Watsky’s well-organized collection.

Visual Resources is pleased to announce that it will be home to Prof. Andy Watsky’s photography archive. This archive includes a few hundred images for his book Chikubushima: Deploying the Sacred Arts in Momoyama Japan (University of Washington Press, 2003), documenting the sacred island near the ancient capital of Kyoto. The collection is currently being inventoried by Yichin Chen. VR is proud to take care of this collection and we wish Prof. Watsky a happy and healthy retirement.

Leigh Lieberman attends CAA (the other CAA) in New Zealand

Six people raise glasses at a table
Leigh and friends enjoy dinner at The Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton

Early this month, Leigh co-chaired a session at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology annual meeting in Auckland, New Zealand. The session, The Ethics of Open Data, invited presenters to grapple with the challenges and benefits bridging technical standards like the FAIR Guiding Principles for open scientific data management and stewardship (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse) with ethical considerations like the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics). Presenters demonstrated how both data creators and data users approached questions of ethics, equity, and decolonization in open data and restricted access data stewardship for researchers, stakeholders, and rightsholding communities. While Leigh and her colleagues are currently working on a proposal for an edited volume that would capture many of the productive discussions they facilitated at the conference, when they were in New Zealand, they also took some time to explore; in particular, their dinner at The Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton was a night to remember!

Connecting Histories: the Princeton and Mount Athos Legacy project has now received grants from the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Princeton Humanities Council, and the Mount Athos Foundation of America.

Gold or bronze plate with relief of central medallion with Virgin and archangels surrounded by other figures
Panagiarion known as ‘The Pulcheria Paten’, Xeropotamou Monastery, Mount Athos, Greece (35 mm slide, Weitzmann Collection)

Visual Resources is proud to announce that Dr. Beatrice Spampinato has been funded to work on the 1929 Mount Athos Expedition collection, which includes moving image film and a little over 300 photographs. Dr. Spampinato is a Postdoc researcher at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice/Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck Institut, where she works on the Observing South Caucasus’ Historical Landscape: An Open Photo Archive (OSCOP) project. This July, she will be working remotely for one month. We are very grateful to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, with the support of the Dimitrios and Kalliopi Monoyios Modern Greek Studies Fund, and Department of Art & Archaeology for providing the funds that will allow Dr. Spampinato to do this work.

Visual Resources Update March 2024

Visual Resources Update March 2024

Webinar: Preparing to work with images on JSTOR: April 25 at 1pm EST

This webinar is provided by Artstor for anyone who is familiar with Artstor and intends to continue to use it as it becomes JSTOR. From the announcement: The Artstor website will be retired on August 1, 2024, and Artstor’s high-quality collections and key functionality are now available on JSTOR. Artstor users are invited to join us to learn about working with images on JSTOR. We’ll also cover ways to fully integrate content you discover on JSTOR with your existing image groups that are now folders in your JSTOR Workspace. One hour, including questions. Register here now. VR staff are familiarizing themselves with the new platform and are happy to help.

Howard Crosby Butler drawings in ART 102 Precepts

Students stand around a table looking at documents in plastic sleeves
Students in ART 102 examine items from the Howard Crosby Butler Archive

March 4–8 students of ART 102 were introduced to the beautiful original drawings by Howard Crosby Butler held by Visual Resources in the precepts for ART 102. This precept was written by Professor Sam Holzman last year, and VR was happy to help facilitate such a wonderful use of the materials again. Special appreciation is extended to all the preceptors working in this incredible class.

Sustainability of Long-term Digital Projects

Leigh Lieberman attended a workshop at the University of Pittsburgh concerning the long-term sustainability of an important digital project, The World Historical Gazetteer, a project that consists of a spatially and temporally comprehensive index of significant world-historical place as well as a series of standards and user tools to support collaborative digital and data-driven historical scholarship at the global scale. Leigh joined a group of experts in the Digital Humanities, including representatives from the Programming Historian, Digital Scholar, The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, and The Getty (just to name a few), to brainstorm strategies for sustaining digital initiatives financially, organizationally, and technically. She is eager to bring what she learned to our ongoing efforts towards making our own collections in Visual Resources digitally accessible to wider audiences.

Visit from Archimandrite Porphyrios, Representative of Saint Catherine’s Monastery of Mount Sinai

A bearded man with glasses and a cross hanging at his waist stands smiling holding a canteen and a flywhisk.
Archimandrite Porphyrios stands in the cold storage room holding Prof. Kurt Weitzmann’s flywhisk and canteen from the expeditions to Mount Sinai.

On Monday, March 11, the Department of Art and Archaeology was honored to host Archimandrite Porphyrios of the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai. Father Porphyrios toured Visual Resources as well as the Index of Medieval Art, and he viewed Sinai-related works in Special Collections of PUL. Father Porphyrios was particularly interested in the Weitzmann archive, with, of course, a focus on the Sinai Expeditions. Father Porphyrios and Julia Gearhart were talking about the longstanding relationship between Princeton and Sinai while looking through the digital images when Father Porphyrios noticed a picture of a very young Archbishop Damianos I. He was very excited to receive a copy of the image to take home with him. It was wonderful to have an in-person connection for an ongoing project, especially a project helping to make the treasures of Sinai available for scholarly work.

Antioch Collection in Graduate Course: Studies in Greco-Roman Religions: Antioch and Dura Europos from the Seleucids to Late Antiquity

Yellowed page from a guest book with columns for date, signatures and addresses
Page 6 of the main guest book from the Antioch excavations featuring signatures from W.F. Albright, Carl Kraeling, A.M. Honeyman and Flinders and Hilda Petrie

This special graduate-level class is co-taught by Laura Nasrallah and AnneMarie Luijendijk. Students of both Princeton and Yale examine the Antioch and Dura Europos excavations, and travel to the schools and museums related to each. Though tired from a day that included looking at objects in PUAM storage and coins in the PUL numismatics collection they were excited by the potential for original scholarship in the Antioch archive.  Of particular interest to everyone were the Antioch excavation account books detailing the amount of funds spent on everything from canned crab meat to stamps. The guest books, a who’s who of everyone in middle east archaeology in the 1930s, were also enjoyed.


Visual Resources Update February 2024

Visual Resources Update February 2024

Transfer of Andreas Alföldi Collection to the Hungarian National Museum

Two photographs of ancient objects sit on top of an open cardboard box of file folders
Andreas Alföldi collection files being inventoried, boxed and packed for shipping to Budapest.

In anticipation of moving into a much smaller space, we are making efforts to review all collections and consolidate where possible. We identified a small collection (one full vertical file cabinet drawer) of photographic prints that belonged to Andreas Alföldi. Alföldi was a Hungarian-born Late Antique historian who became affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study’s School of Historical Studies in 1956 until his death in 1981. IAS has informed us that all his papers were sent to the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest in 2011. After consulting with A&A department members we decided the best home for these photographs (of, mostly, iron age grave finds in Slovenia) would also be at the Hungarian National Museum. Michele Mazeris inventoried the collection, packaged and organized the transfer to Dr. Ádám Szabó (Department of Archaeology, Hungarian National Museum). We are confident this transfer will ultimately benefit future scholars of his work.

Progress report on Lantern Slides of Greece

Work steadily continues on the Greek Lantern Slides Project. VR holds 42 drawers of glass lantern slides of Greece containing around 4000 slides in total. So far, 10 drawers have been fully processed, which means: digitizing the image, scanning the label, inputting data, and geo-referencing location. At this point, twenty-one drawers have been digitized and are ready for data cleaning and geo-referencing. This project started in September 2021 and we are 80% done: Yichin Chen manages 2 students working on the project this semester and will hopefully finish processing the rest of the drawers this year.

Visual Resources in the Classroom

This month, Leigh Anne Lieberman had an opportunity to introduce the students in ART 466 (Sicily: An Architectural History taught by Professor Basile Baudez and Ph.D. candidate Sofia Hernandez) to Morgantina, a site in central Sicily that had a strong connection to Princeton for nearly 70 years. In this class session, Leigh shared stories about Princeton’s deep relationship to the site, as well as details about the ongoing excavations, The Agora Valley Project, for which she serves as the Data Director. The students were engaged, asking great questions, as Leigh reviewed the ancient history of the settlement, and we’re excited to follow up with them in a few weeks when Julia Gearhart visits the class to share more Morgantina gems from the archives.

Interesting Projects and Resources:

The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton has a Call for Applications: DH for Hellenic Studies: Working with Ancient and Medieval Texts (due March 11)

The University of Cambridge Faculty of Classics presents Explosive Wace: twelve albums of cellulose nitrate negatives dating from 1902-3 by archaeologist Alan J.B. Wace.

Wintercession 2024


Fans of Chinese Ink Paintings

This year, Yichin Chen organized a Wintersession titled Fans of Chinese Ink Paintings. The workshop not only offered attendees a unique opportunity to appreciate and learn Chinese ink paintings from the guest artist, Mansheng Wang but also to craft their creations to take home on a fan.

In the 3-hour workshop, attendees first learned a brief history of Chinese ink painting on fans presented by A&A graduate student, Yutong Li. Then they were treated to a mesmerizing showcase of Mr. Wang’s pandemic-inspired works, alongside a discourse on his artistic and literary concepts. After that, Mr. Wang explained each painting tool he used and demonstrated brushwork techniques. After practicing on paper, attendees painted and created their work on a handheld fan to bring home.

Sicilian Stories: Tales and Treats from the American Excavations at Morgantina

In Sicilian Stories: Tales and Treats from the American Excavations at Morgantina, A&A Graduate Student Will Pedrick and A&A Digital Project Specialist Leigh Anne Lieberman introduced participants to the Sicilian site that has captivated Princeton audiences for almost 70 years: Morgantina. While V/R maintains the archival records from Princeton’s early work at the archaeological site, a new campaign sponsored by The American Excavations at Morgantina (The Agora Valley Project) aims to address some of the questions left answered by the site’s previous excavators. Participants in this workshop learned about Morgantina’s rich history as well as Princeton’s important legacy at the site. They also got to take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Agora Valley Project’s ongoing work, all while sampling some traditional Sicilian sweets from D’Angelo Italian Market and learning about opportunities to contribute to this cutting-edge research program.

Visual Resources Update December 2023/January 2024

Visual Resources Update December 2023/January 2024

In Memoriam: Malcolm (Mac) Bell III

Malcolm (Mac) Bell III passed away in Rome on January 7, 2024. During his time as a Princeton student (AB in 1963, PhD in 1972) Mac worked on the Morgantina, Sicily excavations of which he would eventually take over the directorship in 1980. Mac visited and corresponded regularly with staff in Visual Resources: we will remember him fondly and offer our deepest sympathies to his family. This tribute issued by the Archaeological Institute of America honors his memory and many achievements.

In Memoriam: Malcolm (Mac) Bell III

Wintersession 2024

Leigh Lieberman and Yichin Chen organized two successful workshops for this year’s Wintersession: Sicilian Stories: Tales and Treats from the American Excavations at Morgantina and Fans of Chinese Painting. We will have a separate posting with photographs of all the fun coming soon.

New Year, New Public Domain Works

It is that time of year again: time to get excited about which artists will be out of copyright in the New Year. It is absolutely thrilling to say that the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, who has been so influential in the world of copyright, is out of copyright on January 1, 2024. Here is a good roundup of what else will be available, put together by Public Domain Review.

A Review of Requests and Inquiries into VR Collections in 2023

Colorful bar chart showing number of requests by month.
Click to enlarge

Every January the statistics of archival requests are compiled and it is helpful to see which collections are in high demand (for both research purposes and publication). We anticipate that, when our comprehensive digital collections platform is up and more populated, there will be a greater number of collections represented in these requests.

Additions to the Michigan-Princeton Sinai Archive

A small illuminated manuscript is vertical and open to an image of robed men
Codex 2123 : New Testament with Psalter; folio 125v: Incredulity of Thomas (Image courtesy of the Michigan-Princeton-Alexandria Expeditions to Mount Sinai, University of Michigan, Fred Anderegg photographer)

We are very excited to say that an additional 654 images of Sinai manuscripts from the University of Michigan have been added to the Michigan-Princeton-Alexandria Expeditions to Sinai website, adding 265 previously unrepresented folios. That brings the total number of images in the digital collection to over 13,000. In fall 2023 the first batch of 77 liturgical objects was added, and we hope to have a second batch finalized by the end of the spring 2024 semester. None of this work would be possible without the help of talented graduate students, so if you are interested in Sinai or the Weitzmann collection in general, please reach out.

Interesting resources and projects

If you want to learn more about UK copyright and image fees, this is a helpful article by Bendor Grosvenor.

Visual Resources Update November 2023

Visual Resources Update November 2023

We are excited to announce two wintersessions:

Orange poster with photos from Morgantina

Sicilian Stories: Tales & Treats from The American Excavations at Morgantina  (Monday, January 22, 1-4pm)

Presented by Digital Project Specialist Leigh Lieberman and A&A PhD candidate Will Pedrick

Archaeologists from Princeton University began excavating at Morgantina, a small town in east central Sicily, in 1955. The excavations at the then unidentified settlement were intended to provide training for American students, especially those in Princeton’s Department of Art and Archaeology. While the department maintains the archival records from these early efforts at the site, a new campaign sponsored by The American Excavations at Morgantina (The Agora Valley Project) aims to address some of the questions left unanswered by the site’s previous excavators. Participants in this workshop will learn about Morgantina’s rich history as well as Princeton’s important legacy at the site. Moreover, participants will take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Agora Valley Project’s ongoing work, all while sampling some traditional Sicilian sweets and learning about opportunities to contribute to this cutting-edge research program.

Fans of Chinese ink paintings (Wednesday, January 24, 1-4pm)

Presented by Yichin Chen, Curator of Asian Collections and Digital Specialist, and A&A PhD candidate Yutong Li

This hands-on workshop is for anyone interested in how to paint and appreciate Chinese ink paintings. Participants will get their own tool kit, learn how to hold and use a brush, and paint on a take-home handheld paper fan. Guest presentations by artist Mansheng Wang and A&A graduate student Yutong Li round out the day.

ASOR Membership Service Award for Leigh Lieberman

From left to right: Melissa Cradic, Tiffany Earley-Spadoni, and Leigh Anne Lieberman receiving the 2023 American Society of Overseas Research Membership Service Award (photo credit: Katherine Schmitt, ASOR Membership Coordinator).

Leigh Anne Lieberman participated in the American Society of Overseas Research Annual Meeting this past month in Chicago. While there, alongside two of her colleagues (Melissa Cradic and Tiffany Earley Spadoni) and with the support of The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context, Leigh received the American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR) Membership Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made special contributions on behalf of the ASOR membership. Leigh and her colleagues received this award for designing and implementing “Digging Up Data”, an innovative professional development program that aims to provide critical education and mentorship in data literacy and digital scholarship to early career scholars in the ASOR community.


Leigh Lieberman and Julia Gearhart enjoyed speaking to students in Prof. Kitzinger’s Art400, Junior Seminar, on November 20th and relayed some of the history of image use in teaching art history as well as how data, and data management, could play a role in their scholarship.

Art and Archaeology Slide Collections

Prior to the pandemic, with the immense help of longtime Media Specialist Marilyn Hansen, VR weeded through the collection of glass lantern slides that was being stored in a warehouse off campus. Weeding followed guidelines set forth by faculty in committee meetings, and only copystand and poor quality slides were de-accessioned (i.e. made available to students and faculty to take home). Those de-accessioned slides that still remained were brought to the artist Jean Shin for repurposing in her work. We now have a more manageable 15,000 glass lantern slide collection that we invite anyone to explore. That said, we will have even less space in the new building, and our slide collections will have to remain offsite, with limited access. We encourage anyone interested in these collections to try to see them before the move, which could be as early as late summer 2024.

Interesting projects and resources:

Open Access article related to Sinai: New Light on Old Manuscripts: The Sinai Palimpsests and Other Advances in Palimpsest Studies (Claudia Rapp, Jana Gruskova, Giullia Rosseto, Grigory Kessel, Eds) 

Artlas – BasArt is a collaborative database of exhibition catalogues from the 19th century to the present day.  Its aim is to gradually decentralize the sources available to researchers, thus decentralizing their focus often too centered on Europe and North America. It is in open access, available to all, through a simple mapping and statistical interface that facilitates global research.

Visual Resources Update October 2023

Visual Resources Update October 2023

Color the Past outreach event on International Archaeology Day

Three line drawings on a table top with pencils spilling from a canister on the left.
Coloring pages and colored pencils provided for Color the Past as part of International Archaeology Day, 2023 (photo by Yichin Chen)

Commemorating International Archaeology Day, Visual Resources partnered with The Princeton Public Library for an all ages “Color the Past” event. Participants helped themselves to coloring supplies as well as copies of pen and ink drawings of monuments and artifacts drafted by Howard Crosby Butler during his campaigns to Sardis and Greece. These drawings from the archive were only slightly edited by Yichin Chen to enable their use as coloring pages. Funding for materials and supplies was obtained from AIA by Leigh Lieberman. Additional coloring pages and pencils were made available in the Department of Art and Archaeology administrative offices for students to take.

University of Liverpool presentation on the Brünnow and Domaszewski collection

A woman in a robe sits with her legs to the side on a camel, a man holds the camel lead.
Odruh [Udhruh, Jordan]: Marguerite Brünnow on a camel. Unpublished. (Image number 597.2)
Visual Resources hosted seven visiting researchers over the summer, two of whom came from the UK to examine the oldest archive in the department, that of Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow, and Alfred von Domaszewski. Naomi Rubinstein and Phil Freeman will be presenting their research from the summer in a Work in Progress seminar on Wednesday November 15 3-4pm GMT = 11am EST and it will be live via Zoom. The title of the lecture is: Archiving an archive: the Brünnow and Domaszewski Photographs of Transjordan. As listed in the announcement: In this presentation, Naomi and Phil will use the collection of Brünnow papers held at the Department of Art and Archaeology in Princeton University to explore how and why Brünnow & Domaszewski embarked on their archaeological survey of Transjordan, while highlighting the difficulties of curating these papers. If you are interested in attending please reach out to for the Zoom link and passcode.

Oversized drawing photography: progress update

Detailed pen drawing of gothic cathedral portal and alley.
Rouen, 1892. Pen and ink drawing by Howard Crosby Butler (Drawing number 460)

The allocation of an additional basement room has allowed John Blazejewski, department photographer, to photograph the large drawings in the collections. Antioch excavation drawings, including these larger drawings, are often requested for research and publication. Now that all have been photographed, we can avoid sending them out for capture and risking damage. John also photographed Howard Crosby Butler’s pen and ink illustrations from Syria and Sardis, and also lesser-known works from his publications on Athens and Scottish abbeys. This fall John will continue his photography with Agora excavation drawings from the Homer Thompson collection.

Graduate student working group set for November 8

Leigh Lieberman is offering the next grad student working group on November 8 from 12:00-1:15pm in 3-S-15 Green Hall, the topic for which will be: “How to choose the right bibliographic citation software.” We encourage all graduate students to attend, and if anyone has any questions to please reach out to Leigh at

Interesting resources and projects:

Explore cultural heritage collections across the Yale University campus through a new search platform called LUX.

You can now explore the Courtauld Gallery’s full collection online, 33, 000 works with high-definition images, in their new digital platform launched September 14.

A new method to search across manuscript and archive collections at Bodleian Libraries and Oxford Colleges which brings together 11 different catalogs into one search.

Visual Resources Update September 2023

Visual Resources Update September 2023

Welcome back! We have had a busy summer (7 visiting researchers!) and look forward to both sharing our progress and embarking on new projects in the coming academic year.

ART341 students consult the Day-Klauder scrapbooks

Dark-haired female is sitting at a table looking at large red books.
Student consulting the Day-Klauder scrapbooks in Visual Resources (2-N-7/8 Green Hall).

Visual Resources has been happy to host the students of Prof. Baudez’s class, Art 341: Neo Architectures, from the Renaissance to Postmodernism the last two weeks in September. Students are consulting the Day-Klauder archive, a collection of thirty leather-bound scrapbooks containing images of American and European architecture and architectural details that was used as a kind of visual reference library in the Day-Klauder Architectural firm in Philadelphia, active roughly 1911-1927. Frank Miles Day and Charles Z. Klauder are probably best known for their collegiate buildings, including Princeton’s own Holder Hall.

Grad student working group

Leigh Lieberman has just launched a working group for graduate students in the department who want to learn about and experiment with data management strategies, digital scholarship, and computational methods for their research and teaching. Participants in this working group will learn about the basics of data management; vet digital tools for organizing bibliography and images; explore the complex landscape of digital image permissions; experiment with various platforms for digital exhibitions; and more! The working group’s first meeting will be Monday October 2nd from 4:30-6:00pm in 3-S-15 Green Hall; to RSVP for this session, and to receive information about future working group events, please complete this short form.

Beginning of Mount Athos Project and Digitization

Medieval manuscript page with foliate designs and ornate text (Greek).
Vatopedi Codex 1080 fol. 1r (Kurt Weitzmann Archive)

Visual Resources is proud to be a major part of the project Connecting Histories: The Princeton and Mount Athos Legacy, a multi-year collaborative project that aims to explore and bring awareness to the unique cultural heritage of Mount Athos in Greece and its connection to Princeton. Two excellent undergraduate students have been hired as Digital Image Specialists who are responsible for digitizing some of the many photographic negatives of manuscripts of Mount Athos from the Kurt Weitzmann archive. We are grateful that these positions are funded by A&A and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies with the support of the Dimitrios and Kalliopi Monoyios Modern Greek Studies Fund.

Interesting resources and projects:

Explore some newly cataloged turn-of-the-century photographs of Paris streets by Eugène Atget at the Getty Museum in this short blog post by Antares Wells.

There are more and more vintage sales catalogs being made available online, which are great resources. Here is one from the Louvre reconstructing the catalog of the Demotte Gallery (roughly 1900-1930).



Visual Resources Monthly Update May 2023

Visual Resources Monthly Update May 2023

A large pyramidal greenhouse on the left, with multiple geodesic dome buildings attached on the right, with a deep blue sky and desert landscape behind it.
View of Biosphere 2, now managed by the University of Arizona (Photo by Leigh Lieberman)

VR’s Digital Project Specialist Leigh Lieberman serves as a principal investigator for Disciplinary Improvements for Past Global Change Research: Connecting Data Systems and Practitioners, a Research Coordination Network funded by the National Science Foundation. In this capacity, Leigh recently helped to facilitate the group’s first symposium, held in mid-May at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. This symposium allowed Leigh and her colleagues to promote dialogue among representatives across a variety of disciplines and begin to develop communities of practice around issues concerning the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics) and the FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse). On the heels of this inspiring program, she’s eager to apply some of the lessons she’s learned, especially around the ethics of working with data that concerns community stakeholders and sovereign rights holders, to her work in A&A.

Mount Athos Center Exhibition

Five men standing alongside pack mules in front of the entrance to a large stone building. "No Woman's Land" is written above and crossed out with a red line.
Poster for the Mount Athos Exhibition: From Princeton to Mount Athos and the Meteora in 1929 (image courtesy The Mount Athos Center)

We are very excited to have a small number of items from our collections in an exhibition at the Mount Athos Center, in Thessaloniki, Greece. If you happen to be in Thessaloniki this summer, do go check it out.

Summer plans: more of the same

Every summer we host some visiting scholars, and this summer will be no different. We already enjoyed assisting Andrea Nalesso (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia) May 22 and 23 in his research on G.E. Kidder Smith. Up next will be a scholar for our Antioch sherd collection, then one for the Weitzmann Sinai collection, then another for Antioch, then a visitor for Morgantina. And that is just the schedule for June. This summer we have a couple of long-term digital and physical projects to accomplish, but we will also continue to provide access to the archives for researchers and can help with any questions (data management, image copyright, etc), so please reach out if you would like our help.

Interesting projects and resources:

Check out the iiif-powered digital experience “Closer to Johannes Vermeer”, which has won two Webby awards. The immersive experience transports visitors into the Vermeer’s world through all 28 Vermeer paintings in the Rijksmuseum exhibition plus the nine additional works attributed to the artist.

Several project partners in Gotha, Germany have launched a new online portal,, which brings together digital objects and data from five institutions and allows for easier research.

Explore the King’s Chamber Prototype, an experimental viewer from the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures at the University of Chicago and the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo. The prototype’s experimental viewer provides a platform for presenting contextual geospatial relationships (in 3D) and the examination of their surface details (in 2D). The current project allows viewers to explore the King’s Chamber, one of six rooms in the Inner Sanctuaries of the 18th Dynasty (Small Amun) Temple at Medinet Habu on the west bank of Luxor, Egypt.