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Abstract

Visual Resource Centers have sustained dramatic change over the last decade. In the age of Google and internet image searches, image curators and other visual resource professionals have often found themselves in the uncomfortable position of defending their raison d’etre. Those arguments, persuasive and otherwise, impact the long-term, if not permanent, decision making that directly affects access to institutional support for individual research and pedagogy. This paper addresses specific strategies undertaken by the Visual Resource Collection (VRC) in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Riverside, that preempt the need for making such an argument. By cultivating mission transformative opportunities that both anticipate and embrace a shifting scope of work, the VRC has strengthened relationships with its existing core constituency while successfully broadening its service targets. The implementation of copyright research and image licensing workflows, the creation of a funded graduate fellowship, and the development of a credit-bearing undergraduate internship contribute to the understanding of the VRC as a unique resource that strives to provide added value to the department.

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