When Drift becomes Current: Collaborating to Expand Beyond the Visual

  • Mēgan Oliver University of South Carolina
  • Kimberly Detterbeck Purchase College, State University of New York
Keywords: digital collections, archives, visual resources, scope drift, re-branding, ARTstor, Shared Shelf, institutional repository, audio, video, art, 35mm slides, access, collaboration, curation, content management, systems


In 2015, SUNY Purchase College art librarian Kim Detterbeck reimagined a long-standing part-time Visual Resources position into a full-time Digital Collections Curator position. After hiring Mēgan Oliver for this two-year term that started in January of 2016, they collaborated on several joint projects including the rebranding of the Visual Resources Center (VRC) into the Digital Collections Center (DCC), collections management, outreach and new services, developing instruction, and the creation of an institutional repository with learning management and systems staff. This instance of intentional and strategic scope drift demonstrates how expanding upon the traditional departmental mission of visual resources can benefit an institution looking to develop greater user engagement, better collections and services, and stronger professional ties among faculty, staff, and students.

Author Biographies

Mēgan Oliver, University of South Carolina

Mēgan Oliver is the Digital Collections Librarian at the University of South Carolina. Her work at the State University of New York (Purchase), Florida State University (The Ringling Museum), and the University of South Florida (St. Petersburg), has informed her career as a collections and content manager. She focuses on assessing, digitizing, cataloging, and publishing special collections and archives, regardless of format. She's especially passionate about professional inreach and outreach. Mēgan has presented at ARLIS three times and has been published in Art Documentation. She holds two Bachelors degrees in Anthropology and English Literature, and a Masters in Library and Information Science, all from the University of South Florida.

Kimberly Detterbeck, Purchase College, State University of New York

Kim Detterbeck is the Art Librarian at Purchase College, SUNY. In her work, she oversees collection development, reference, and library instruction for art history, art & design, new media, and arts management as well as participates in Library-wide projects such as digitization, assessment, outreach and communications, and e-learning across multiple disciplines. She is an active member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) as a member of the Social Media Special Interest Group and as a myMETRO Researcher and of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) where she served as the chair of the Membership Committee and secretary of the New York Metropolitan Chapter of ARLIS/NA. Kim has been published in Art Documentation and The Global Librarian. She received an MLS from the University of Maryland, an MA in Art History from Syracuse University, and a BA in Art History from Rutgers University.

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