Resources > Digital Collections and Collection Development

Online Resources and Software List

Edited by Susan Jane Williams. (Please send additions and corrections to:

A Sampling of Visual Resources Departments and Digital Projects

Art Images for College Teaching

San Jose State University Digital Art

Society of Architectural Historians Image Exchange

Slide and Photograph Image Retrieval Online (SPIRO)

Library of University of California Images (LUCI)

UCAI (Union Catalog of Art Images) Project

University of Michigan Image Source

General Comprehensive Sites

CHIN (Canadian Heritage Information Network)

AHDS (formerly VADS – Visual Arts Data Service – UK)

HEDS (Higher Education Digitisation Service—UK)

Data Standards and Metadata Issues

Baca, Murtha, ed. Introduction to Metadata: Pathways to Digital Information. Los Angeles: The Getty Information Institute, 1998.
A metadata “crosswalk”

Lanzi, Elisa. Introduction to Vocabularies: Enhancing Access to Cultural Heritage Information. Los Angeles: The Getty Information Institute, 1998.

Baca, Murtha, and Patricia Harpring, Guest Editors. “Art Information Task Force: Categories for the Descriptions of Works of Art.” Visual Resources Special Issue 11, no.3-4 (1996): 41-429.

Rettig, Patricia J., "Administrative metadata for digital images: a real world application of
the NISO draft standard." Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services Issue 26, no.2 (2002): 173-179. (See below for the draft standard URL).

The Working Group on Preservation Metadata, an initiative jointly sponsored by OCLC and RLG, A Metadata Framework to Support the Preservation of Digital Objects, available on the OCLC Web site at

Cataloguing Cultural Objects (draft) (Guidelines for applying VRA Core)

Standards and Protocols

VRA Core 3.0


Dublin Core


OAI Protocol

The Data Dictionary for Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images
(NISO Z39.87/AIIM 20), released as a Draft Standard for trial

Copyright and Licensing (US)

Image Collection Guidelines: The Acquisition and Use of Images in Non-Profit Educational Visual Resources Collections (published by the VRA Committee on Intellectual Property Rights)

Sundt, Christine L. “Copyright and Art Issues.” Web site Last updated May 22, 2003
This site compiles valuable web resources on copyright and the visual arts, including all the current information from the NINCH Town Meetings through 2003.

Liblicense: A site to provide tools and education about licensing electronic products.

Best Practices/Imaging

Digital Library Federation and Research Libraries Group. Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging. Available on the web:

Frey, Franziska. “Digital Imaging for Photographic Collections: Foundations for Technical Standards.” RLG DigiNews 1, no.3 (Dec. 15 1997)

Kenney, Anne R., and Oya Y. Rieger. Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives. Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, 2000.

Besser, Howard. Introduction to Imaging. Los Angeles: The Getty Information Institute. Revised Edition, 2003.

Ongoing Publications

D-Lib Magazine (July/August 2002 issue)

RLG DigiNews

Currently Available Image Management and/or Delivery Softwares

For additional products and a review, see the CHIN site, Collections Management
Software Review (mainly museum management softwares)

also this DAMs list from University of Michigan:


EmbARK Cataloger (recommended as replacement for ImageAXS, from the same parent company)

The Museum System


iView MediaPro


Willoughby MultiMimsy

CONTENTdm (first developed at University of Washington, now has a distributor)

Madison DID (MDID)

E-Media Library, developed at Auburn University and distributed commercially

University of Michigan (internally developed system)

The University of Virginia (internally developed system)

Almagest (internally developed system, Princeton)

Insight from Luna Imaging

IBM Content Manager

MediaRich, from Equilibrium (a digital assets management system geared to commercial use)

Documentum Digital Asset Manager

Open Source Solutions

Gallery: (a ‘mom and pop’ photo management web tool)

Madison DID (MDID) Version 2

Library OPAC softwares (that have image modules)

Endeavor Voyager (ENCompass)

Innovative Interfaces

Aleph (Ex Libris DigiTool)

Additional programs that work with content, not necessarily image presentation, but distance learning/ course reserves



Asymetrix Toolbook


Docutek's ERes

Database and Web Interface Tools

MySQL – An open source database that provides backend services for many major web sites. It runs on many platforms, including Linux and Windows, integrates nicely with web scripting languages like PHP and VBSCRIPT / ASP, and is robust enough to handle large databases.

PHP – The PHP Group’s website introduces this freely available scripting language, which can be embedded into HTML, and suggests additional resources.

ASP – Microsoft’s default web scripting environment allows developers to embed commands in web pages using a variety of languages (most commonly VBScript).

Image Processing Softwares

Photoshop from Adobe remains the standard general image manipulation software

IRFANVIEW – Freeware image viewing and editing software that is often handier than high-end programs due to its browse-mode interface.

DeBabelizer – (an Equilibrium product) is a tool for batch image processing (creating multiple derivative images from master files, or converting format files en masse).

CKRENAME – Commercial slide scanning speeds up the process, but often returns dozens of CD’s full of ambiguously named files like IMAGE0037. To assign a unique file name, a utility like this that supports wildcards and auto-increment names is helpful.

MrSID, DJVu and Geospatial (GIS) solutions. LizardTech makes a variety of image compression and delivery schemes utilizing sub-regional extraction and other technologies.

Zoomify – Same as above; some of the products use Flash for web display

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