Capstone: Visual Resource Collections

Management of visual resource collections at universities has moved increasingly from art history departments to libraries in recent years, and the collections themselves are moving from analog formats to digital. The Fine Arts Library at UT Austin administers the Visual Resource Collection for the department of Art and Art History. I worked on the conversion of teaching material in the VRC, cataloging images, finding the best versions to digitize, scanning and optimizing the images for on-screen use and projection. I worked with Sydney Kilgore to write a guide for professors to access these didactic materials through UT Libraries’ Digital Archive Services (DASe).
The project bridged my interests in art history, digital asset management, creating quality digital surrogates, and making them accessible. I learned more about the responsibilities of visual resource managers to consistently and accurately catalog as well as ensure that digital collections are accessible to student and faculty users.

Conservation plan for new media artwork

Landmarks, the public art program at UT Austin, commissioned its first new media work in 2012: And That’s the Way It Is, an installation by Ben Rubin and EAR studios consisting of projections in the newly re-named Walter Cronkite Plaza. I developed a condition report and conservation plan for the work, including a questionnaire. Finally, I interviewed Ben Rubin about his hopes and intentions for the future of the work. I presented my poster for this project at the Spring 2012 Capstone session.

Preservation of color photographic processes

As part of my continuing investigation of the preservation of images, I researched the deterioration of color photographic materials; specifically, chromogenic and dye transfer fine art prints in museum collections.
Download my research paper in PDF.

Processing the Chisos Mining Company Records

Working with a group at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, I processed, arranged and described the historic records of the Chisos Mining Company. We created a DACS-compliant finding aid, encoded in EAD and published online. View this finding aid on TARO.

Austin Weird-o-meter

In the Database Management class, my group built a web-based mobile application for use in Austin, Texas. Using a relational database built with MySQL and PHP, we designed a site that allows for users to create a profile, upload photos, record ratings, and find locations based on text search or geo-location. I mapped out and normalized our relational tables, designed the "place" pages, generated the content, and entered the data. Read a bit more about the project at team mate Susie Herbstritt's site.

Embossed seals in Natchez Trace historic letters

For a Digital Libraries class project, we built a repository on DSpace for digitized documents from the collection of the Center for American History. As part of the content generation team, I developed and implemented a workflow for photographing a selection of documents and generating derivatives for preservation and web publication. I researched institutional standards for such surrogrates and learned about conservation photography. I was also able to share my knowledge ofthe VRA Core metadata standard with the class.