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New Public Database Makes our Campus Art Collections Available for Broader Use

The Digital Scholarship & Curriculum Center recently published the Campus Art Collections on a platform from LUNA Imaging, making these collections available in a beautiful and user-friendly format. The database will bring together all the different art collections at the College, some of which are part of the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives, and others part of the Department of Art History.

Currently, the database features the Campus Art Collection, including the outdoor sculpture collection, the Chu-Griffis Collection for Asian Art, the Wetmore Print Collection, and the Artists’ Books Collection. Digital Scholarship Assistant Owen Avery ‘25, is currently working to digitize and publish the Collection of Japanese Prints. We will also soon make available the Rose Shinbach Collection of Delft Pottery.

Once on the site, you can search or browse all or browse within collections. The facet search feature facilitates browsing by subject, medium, national origin of the artist, artist’s name, creation decade or century. Conducting a facet search for animals, for example, yields 83 artworks, which can then be refined by cultural origin, medium, or concurrent subjects, such as human figures or water. 

The metadata we inherited for these collections required a significant amount of tidying, and there is still much work to do. These projects present opportunities for students to take part in improving access to the collections. In the spring semester, special collections and digital scholarship staff are working with students in Professor Karen Gonzalez Rice’s Museum Studies course on two projects to improve the new database’s metadata–condition reporting for the Campus Art Collection and subject cataloging for the Wetmore Print Collection. The Campus Art Committee also recently received a generous alumni donation to hire students to work on updating some of the photography of our holdings. 

Karen Gonzalez Rice expressed excitement about the potential afforded by the new database for much more engagement with these collections across the curriculum, as our holdings represent a broad range of subjects, time periods, and cultural origins. If you are interested in exploring how the Campus Art Collections might be relevant to your course(s), please contact us in the Digital Scholarship & Curriculum Center and in Special Collections & Archives.

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