August 2006 vol. 3, no. 4
Image Stuff Home

Editorial and Technical Staff

Marlene Gordon (University of Michigan-Dearborn)
Associate Editors:
Dana Felder (Cooper Union)
Steve Kowalik (Hunter College)
Technical Advisor:
Trudy Levy (Image Integration)

Contributing Editors:
Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights
Jane Darcovich (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Digital Scene and Heard
Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)

Contributions to Image Stuff are due the 15th of the month before the issue. Please send your copy in ".doc" format

Table of Contents

Memo from the President
Summer Education Institute (SEI)
Digital Scene and Heard
Vaidhyanathan Keynote Speaker at Copyright Symposium
Position Filled
Chapter News

Memo From The President
By Virginia (Macie) Hall (John Hopkins University)

Annual Reports And Response From The Executive Board
It is quite gratifying for the Board to read the annual reports from our appointees, committee, task force and chapter chairs. These reports make us aware of all the terrific activities going on in the Association. The Board’s responses to the reports go out during late March and April. The Annual Reports for 2005 are posted on the Members Only page of VRAWEB.

New Appointment: VRA Web Site And Memberclicks Coordinator
The Executive Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine Hilker, Director of the Smart Media Center at the University Of Arkansas School of Architecture, as the new VRA Web Site and MemberClicks Coordinator. The VRA Web Site and MemberClicks Coordinator is in charge of overseeing the editing, function, organization and maintenance of the VRAWEB.ORG web site and MemberClicks services. The VRA Web Site and MemberClicks Coordinator reports directly to the Public Relations and Communications Officer and oversees the work of the VRA Web Site Administrator and the VRA Web Site Editor.

It is wonderful to be able to continue to reap the benefits the Association received through Chris’ commendable efforts as our past Public Relations and Communications Officer. Her experience and knowledge of the VRA Web Site and MemberClicks will serve the Association well in this undertaking. We thank Chris for her willingness to serve VRA in this new capacity.

Silver Jubilee Planning
The Silver Jubilee Committee, under the leadership of co-chairs Megan Battey and Marcia Focht, is hard at work on plans to “sprinkle silver” on our 25th anniversary celebration at the VRA annual conference in Kansas City, March 27 – April 1, 2007. The committee is planning a special program for our Membership Dinner, organizing a 25th anniversary conference session, working with VRA Archivist Martine Sherrill and others on recording VRA history, and designing a conference logo and commemorative/promotional item. I’m excited by the creative ideas coming from the committee and look forward to seeing the results unfold in Kansas City.

Update on 2008 Conference in San Diego
The Executive Board has successfully negotiated and signed a contract with the Wyndham Hotel at Emerald Plaza near the Gaslamp District (hip art, music, and dining quarter), around the corner from Little Italy, and in the heart of beautiful downtown San Diego. The conference dates will be March 11 – 16, 2008.

Baltimore 2006 Conference

I am pleased to announce that the Association has netted a $22,000 profit for the Baltimore 2006 Conference. After experiencing a rather small profit for the Miami Conference (something that should be expected when the Association meets in a resort location where costs are generally higher) this will allow us some breathing room in working on our next several conferences, particularly as we are taking steps towards "out-sourcing" some of the more mundane and time-consuming work involved with conference planning.

Membership Services Coordinator
The Executive Board has renewed the contract with Liz Edgar Hernandez to serve as the VRA Membership Services Coordinator. Liz oversaw our first year of online membership renewal using MemberClicks and handled various problems and issues efficiently and diplomatically. We appreciate her hard work! In the coming months, Liz hopes to develop some FAQs to assist our members in using MemberClicks services and features.

Mid-Year Executive Board Meeting
The Executive Board held it’s mid-year meeting in Kansas City July 21- 23. Planning for our 2007 “Silver Jubilee” Conference was a major agenda item. As well we read the mid-year reports from appointees, chapter, task force and committee chairs and set our 2007 budget.

As always, please feel free to contact me by email or phone if you have questions, comments or concerns. I usually work on California time, even though I live in Baltimore – a good time to reach me by phone is late in the afternoon, 4:00 – 6:00 pm Eastern Time, and that is often when I catch up on the day’s emails as well.

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Summer Educational Institute (SEI)
By Karin Whelan (Reed College)

The third annual Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI), co-sponsored by ARLIS/NA and VRA, took place at Reed College from June 11 - 16, 2006. The goals of SEI were to provide information professionals with a substantive educational and professional development opportunity focused on digital images, the information and experience needed to stay current in a rapidly changing field, and the opportunity to create a network of supportive colleagues.

Participants came from many of the United States, including Alaska. The majority of attendees were from library and visual resources organizations, while archives and museums from the non-academic world were also represented. Students received written supplementary material, which included: a notebook with extensive information on each module, flyers from a number of vendors and professional organizations, the ARLIS/NA-VRA Guidelines to the Visual Resources Profession, Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW? and publications generously donated by the Getty Research Institute.

A number of skilled, experienced, and enthusiastic instructors developed and presented the curriculum modules, demonstrated software, and participated in spirited discussions. The instructors included Murtha Baca, Howard Brainen, Janice Eklund, Eileen Fry, Trudy Jacoby, Amy Lucker, Christine Sundt, and Ed Teague. There was also an energetic Implementation Committee that worked all year long to bring the SEI to fruition. Members included (with primary roles): Trudy Jacoby and Karin Whalen (Co-Chairs), Heather Cleary, Norine Duncan, Eileen Fry (development and instructor liaison), Eric Schwab (web page), Evan Towle (web Page), and Karin Whalen (local planning).

A number of sponsors provided valuable support for SEI 2006. Donors included Scholars Resource, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty Foundation (CCO curriculum and training), the Getty Research Institute, Eileen Fry and B.J. Irvine, Cathie Lemon, Ed Teague and, of course, the two sponsoring organizations, ARLIS/NA and VRA. 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. Karin Whalen served as the local arrangements planner and all of the Reed College Campus Events staff provided a warm welcome and terrific support throughout the week. The first evening's reception was held in the "Commons Cafe" and terrace.

A Google Group was set up for the registrants before SEI and enabled people to introduce themselves and also to make coordinated travel plans. Many of the participants also took advantage of the setting in Portland Oregon and visited the Art Museum and some of the beautiful gardens.

These are some of the comments received:

SEI was more than just “education”; it was a big step toward confirming that digitization can become reality - no matter the barriers.

I was transported from the world of teaching photography to the intriguing world of the visual library. They made this maze inviting and easy to negotiate… I am leaving fueled with great energy and knowledge in approaching our continuing slide library conversion ... I am leaving with contacts to assist me along the way ... I am leaving with innovative ideas to share with my faculty about the opportunities and excitement of 'going digital' ....

I am leaving with new friends ...

I am still digesting all the information you presented! As time goes on I realize how spectacularly well it all was organized and presented.

For more information on the 2006 SEI, see

The 2007 SEI will take place at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, hosted by Eileen Fry. More information will be posted on the SEI website as it becomes available.

Digital Scene And Heard
By Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)

Spotlight On UNR Libraries
By Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)

The University of Nevada, Reno’s contribution to the Mountain Digital Library (MWDL), and the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) is a website of Digital Projects hosting 17 digital collections, 13 of which are public. The collection includes maps of Nevada, images of local sites such as Lake Tahoe, historical photographs and art.

In addition to the digital collection, UNR has documented the technical aspects and collaboration of the Digital Projects. The Library offers a “generic crosswalk” showing the various metadata schemes for works in-progress. The website links each digital collection to the CONTENTdm field properties and the data dictionary, lists the selection criteria guidelines, lists the steps the Library took to build each collection, and offers links for more resources.

The Library chose CONTENTdm because of its ability to address “more challenging technology and knowledge management issues”. The Library will be working with DiMeMa to complement and enhance CONTENTdm in order to support the DjVu file format and longer transcription files. The platform will be able to support the Library’s future plan to add multimedia and video clips to the database.

Yiddish Children’s Books
By Salwa Ismail Patel (Florida Atlantic University)

The Digital Library of Florida, Publication of Archival Library and Museum Material (PALMM), houses a unique digital collection of rare literature written in Yiddish for children. The Yiddish Children’s Books (YCB) digital collection is a work in progress from Florida Atlantic University Libraries’ Digital Library, in collaboration with Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA).

The children’s books represented in this collection are original stories by Yiddish authors that include Sholem Aleichem, Jacob Pat, and Sholem Asch.The collection also contains Yiddish translations of non-Jewish children’s stories by such authors as Hans Christian Andersen, Rudyard Kipling, and Jacob Grimm. A wonderful example is Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is distilled and translated into Yiddish as Feter Tom.

The uniqueness of these books is further enhanced in the way they are digitized and made available on the World Wide Web. The challenging aspect for the display of the books is that Yiddish is read right to left and hence the web display has to be modified accordingly for turning pages in the opposite direction. Another aspect for consideration in displaying images is trying to display the page spreads of the books, along with the individual pages.

The books are scanned in-house to produce high quality archival master images, which are then color-, tonal- and saturation-corrected using Adobe Photoshop CS2. This is an intensive and detail oriented process, as the final derivative images have to be consistent. The display of the single page images in synchronization with the page spreads is accomplished through the logical structural metadata that is created using the MXF client provided by FCLA. The electronic resource created for the YCB is then read by FCLA’s front-end process and made available on the YCB Collections webpage for viewing in an innovative style.

By making this unique collection available online FAU Libraries is opening up a venue for scholars to compare and contrast, to inquire and learn, to substantiate or refute, and to teach others. The Yiddish children’s books are not only charming objects they are interesting research items for scholars to draw between the original and Yiddish translation, thereby expounding different conclusions across academic disciplines. It is for this purpose and the pleasure of once again bringing these books to light that the FAU Libraries is pleased to work with PALMM in creating digital rendition of the Yiddish children’s books.

For further information contact Salwa Ismail Patel

Collection Spotlight
By Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)

The Digital Imaging Project is a database of13,000+ images of “art historical images of sculpture and architecture from pre-historic to post-modern” age. The Digital Imaging Project is still growing and has browsable images based on location. Some of the locations included in the database are Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam, Italy, and various areas of the US.

The database was created by Mary Ann Sullivan who is a professor at Bluffton University. Sullivan traveled to each location and took photographs on site. She then scanned the images and created the digital database in her free time. Visual resources professionals can appreciate the amount of work such a database can take. The site can be used free of charge for personal and educational purposes.

Up-Coming Grant Opprotunities
By Jacquelyn Erdman (Florida Atlantic University)

IMLS Grants:

For more grants please visit

Getty Foundation:

For more grants please visit

Mellon Foundation:

For more grants please visit

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

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Vaidhyanathan Keynote Speaker at Copyright Symposium
By Carl Johnson 1 (Brigham Young University)

There is much debate and commentary regarding the ambitious digitization projects of Google, Yahoo, and other groups that are seeking to make massive quantities of information available on a global scale. These digitization projects have garnered the attention and applause of consumers and educators but have also drawn the ire and litigation of authors and publishers.

Interested and vested stakeholders seek answers to complex questions of intellectual property rights, copyright, piracy, fair use, ownership, access, distribution, compensation, and control that arise as increasing amounts of digital information is accessed or received. Answers to these questions inform the broader discussion about sweeping changes in higher education and the new parameters and responsibilities of scholarship, as technology transforms the academy.

In his keynote presentation on the theme of "The Googlization of Culture" at the annualUMUC (University of Maryland University College) symposium on intellectual property 2, Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan addressed issues that relate to the timely topic of the impact of mass digitization on copyright and higher education. His address was followed by responses from Allan Adler, Association of American Publishers and Alan Davidson, Google.

Always a stimulating and enjoyable speaker, Dr. Vaidhyanathan explained and commented on the Google Book Search service. This service has two main components: a publisher program -- a partnership in which publishers license their works to Google’s index, and a library program -- a partnership in which libraries offer millions of volumes for scanning into Google’s index. Currently five libraries have signed on: Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, New York Pubic Library, and the University of Michigan (the only library that has publicly declared it will deliver post-1923 works to Google).

He emphasized that two fundamental questions concerning this project need resolution. First, is scanning of the copyrighted works (post-1923) a violation of the rights reserved for copyright owners? And second, does the fact that Google will only be presenting post-1923 works in “snippets” qualify as “fair use” under Sec. 107? Google indicates that all works published since 1923 will only reach users as “snippets” so no one will have access to the entire text.

Vaihyanathan’s keynote also touched on other problems Google might resolve by completing this project:

  1. Limited access to book learning.
  2. Limited access to indexes and search functions.
  3. Limited book searches guided and limited by author, title, keywords, and subject headings.
  4. Limited selectivity: many good books are lost in the marketing shuffle.
  5. Limited inclusion of books to present web searches.

He then explored the question “Why should anyone care?” focusing on the following points:

  1. Fair use is too rickety a structure to support so many essential public values and activities.
  2. Concern about rampant privatization of library functions.
  3. Concern about the frayed relationships between academic publishers and libraries.
  4. Frustration with bad Google search results.
  5. Frustration with students’ research techniques.
  6. Concern about user confidentiality for library use.
  7. Concern about the concentration of power in Google.

Vaidhyanathan then asked, “What’s at stake?” and sketched out some of the key issues the Book Search project has highlighted:z

  1. What matters more: the rights of authors or plans to free ride on the work of others?
  2. What matters more: Google making an unauthorized copy of entire works for their own cache (an apparent violation of Sec. 106) or the interface users will experience (a reliance on Sec. 107)?
  3. Have the processes of mass digitization altered the assumptions of copyright, demanding a more flexible vision of copyright?
  4. Will copyright cease to exist as a (copy) right or morph into a commercial distribution right?
  5. How should market failure be addressed: by expanding fair use or by pushing for formalities?

He concluded his address with three sets of questions:

Questions for Google

  1. What will be the guiding principles for inclusion, exclusion, and rank of the index?
  2. What will be scanned first? What order?
  3. What safeguards are you taking to ensure user confidentiality and privacy?
  4. What will be your metadata standards?
  5. Will you omit certain titles from the index if a government requests it? Or will you merely present snippets to indicate the book’s existence?

Questions for the Libraries

  1. Did you insist on assurances that Google would protect user confidentiality and privacy?
  2. Did you insist that Google’s index include input from your librarians in terms of metadata standards?
  3. Did Google restrict your use of the digital files in any way? (Dr.Vaidhyanathan remarked that there are no obvious restrictions in the University of Michigan's contract with Google.) 3
  4. Did you consider the harm to the potential markets for publishers who have been selling and leasing digital files?
  5. What is the copyright justification for receiving an electronic copy as payment for a transaction?
  6. What’s the hurry?

General Questions

  1. Are “snippets” useful as a resource for research?
  2. Is Google Book Search set up effectively? Does it serve users well?
  3. Did you think these libraries got a good deal out of Google?
  4. Did you think the public would get a good deal out of the Google-Library program?

In his response to Vaidhyanathan’s keynote, Allan Davidson of Google, Inc. first reiterated Google’s mission: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. He then summarized the main goals of the Google Book Search: to make books as easy to find as web pages, and to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages, while respecting copyright.

In support of the Google digitization project, Davidson also noted that, of current books in print, less than 5% are available in a bookstore. In addition, 75% or more have an unclear copyright status, and less than 20% have public domain status. Though it increases access, he emphasized that the Google Book Search is not a substitute for a book.

Davidson then provided a quote which points to the increasingly important role which information technology plays in maintaining public awareness of print materials:

“One day, materials that aren't searchable online simply won't get read. That doesn't mean it's going to be read online, but it's not going to be found if it's not online.” (James Hilton, formerly Associate Provost and Interim Librarian, University of Michigan.)

In answer to the question “Are Publishers Seeing Results?” Davidson provided quotes from individuals in the publishing industry:

“We have seen overall traffic to our site increase, backlist sales rise, and we’ve acquired nearly 3,000 new direct book customers for free since the program launched. Google Book Search is a key to our overall Internet strategy of reaching new markets.” (Evan Schnittman, Oxford University Press.)

“Since our titles became active on Google Print, visits to our website have gone up 124 percent. The converted POD titles averaged 19 sales per month before Google Print – and 74 copies in the first month after we joined. Clearly, people are finally finding these titles.” (Tony Sanfilippo, Penn State University Press.)

Davidson also drew on quotes from writers to emphasize positive opinions about the Google Book Search project:

"As a writer, my biggest worry is that no one ever happens upon my books unless they go to a bookstore – thank you Google, for providing a way to put books back into the daily round of average people. When books are visible in search-results, they get an equal footing with web pages and other new media. If we have hope as authors in the digital age, it's in projects like Google Book Search." (Cory Doctorow, author, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and others.)

"As an author in Google Book Search, I appreciate potential readers being able to find my book, examine an excerpt – as they might do while leafing through the book at a store – and deciding for themselves if the book is for them…Google is making these books more noticeable and accessible than ever before." (Don Jones, author, Managing Windows with Vbscript and Wmi and others)

Overall, this symposium provided very useful information concerning the issues/questions that arise with large and small-scale digitization projects. The evolution and resolution of the issues surrounding the Google Book Search project should provide some guidance to VRA professionals and others in helping resolve possible infringement liability activities.

Further details and information regarding symposium materials and proceedings can be found at the 2006 Symposium Archive. You may order a binder containing selected presentations and relevant articles from this three-day symposium (Binder Order Form 2006) or a CD containing over 9 hours of symposium proceedings in streaming audio and video (CD Order Form 2006).

1. Carl M. Johnson, Director of the Copyright Licensing Office at Brigham Young University and a member of the VRA IPR Committee, attended all sessions of this symposium.

2.The University of Maryland University College Center for Intellectual Property symposium, titled ” Copyright at a Crossroads: The Impact of Mass Digitization on Copyright and Higher Education”, was held from June 14-16, 2006 at the UMUC conference center, Adelphi, Maryland.

3. For more information on Michigan’s partnership with Google, including a PDF file of the “Cooperative Agreement” document, see

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Position Filled

Elizabeth Darocha Berenz is the new Visual Resources Curator at Roger Williams University (RWU). She received her MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MLS from the University of North Texas. Beginning her visual resources career as an intern at the University of Chicago's Visual Resources Center, Elizabeth comes to RWU from the Center for Research Libraries. She is looking forward to creating an efficient workflow for image digitization while also maintaining RWU's slide collection.

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Chapter News

Greater New York Chapter
By Sherman Clarke (New York University)

The Greater New York Chapter is co-sponsoring a CCO Workshop on October 27-28, 2006. Our co-sponsor is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the workshop will be held at the museum.

We are also planning our fall meeting in early October. We will meet at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where host Don Beetham will display his VRA Core 4.0 compliant database. In addition, we will visit the Zimmerli Art Museum and other facilities.

New England Chapter
By Megan Battey (Middlebury College)

Plans are underway to hold the fall meeting of the New England Chapter at Williams College, Williamstown, MA on September 29, 2006. Details for this meeting, as well as photos from the spring meeting in Salem, MA, are available on our chapter website:

Pacific Rim Chapter
By Heather Seneff (University of Washington)

Outgoing Chair Pacific Rim Chapter of the VRA

The Pacific Rim Chapter is planning for their annual meeting this October in Seattle. The meeting will be hosted by Deb Cox and Jeanette Mills of the University of Washington's School of Art Visual Services and will be held at the Seattle Public Library in Downtown Seattle. The date is tentatively set for October 14th (a Saturday) and the agenda will include presentations by Margo Ballantyne (Lewis and Clark College) and Jeanette Mills on their experiences at the VRA 2006 conference in Baltimore, MD.

Ed Teague, Head of the Architecture & Allied Arts Library at the University of Oregon, Eugene, announces the arrival of Julia Simic to the Pacific Northwest. Julia has accepted the position of Visual Resources Librarian at the University of Oregon. Julia is currently employed at Indiana University's Fine Arts Slide Library and will become head of UO's Visual Resources Collection on September 1. Welcome, Julia!

Jeanette Mills announces a position opening at the University of Washington in Seattle (also posted on the VRA jobs link). Kathleen Moles has left the Art Media Center in the UW School of Art after seven years. Her colleagues were very sad to see her go, but she has moved on to a wonderful position as Curator of Art at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art in Bellingham, Washington. The Art Media Center position has been refigured and is posted on the University of Washington's website:

Search by job number 24558, and hurry - closing date is August 10th!

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