Rethinking Visual Resources Centers in the Digital Age: Case Studies at the University of Georgia and the University of Michigan
Visual Resource Centers are facing many challenges—and opportunities—in the wake of the digital era. Since their beginnings as slide libraries, many VRCs have had missions across college campuses to serve the image needs of faculty in art-related fields. More recently, visual resources professionals have guided faculty and other colleagues into the digital era by providing digitization services and support. But as faculty and other clientele have become more tech-savvy over the years, and as high quality art images have become more readily available than ever before, the fate of VRCs and similar departments is at risk. In order to stay in business, VRCs need to stay relevant. Fortunately, the digital age has also extended itself into countless new opportunities for visual resource professionals, not only in allowing for new means of collaboration, but also in freeing up time for extended outreach and education efforts. This article presents various outreach and collaboration initiatives taken by the Visual Resources Center at the Lamar Dodd School of Art within the University of Georgia, and the Visual Resources Collections within the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan.
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