ARTstor: 21st Century Access to Art Work Images

University Libraries now bring art images from the world’s museums to BGSU with ARTstor. ARTstor was founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning in the arts and associated fields. This image database contains collections of hundreds of thousands of digital images with related scholarly information. Major initial collections include the Carnegie Arts of the United States Collection, the Huntington Archive of Asian Art, the Illustrated Bartsch, the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive (MIDA), and the Museum of Modern Art Architecture and Design Collection. ARTstor also includes the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) collection that was formerly part of the OhioLINK Digital Media Center Art and Architecture collection. ARTstor further provides a means for faculty to contribute their own images to the database to increase access for other scholars and students.

In early 2004, at the suggestion of Andrew Hershberger, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and other faculty in the School of Art, BGSU Libraries became part of the beta test of ARTstor. The test period provided an opportunity for the BGSU community to evaluate the database. Response from faculty and students in many disciplines was very positive and the University Libraries set out to find a way to fund access to the digital image database. Through grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, University Libraries now subscribe and provide access to ARTstor for the BGSU campus and Firelands College.

Digital images are becoming the teaching tool of the future, and increasingly of the present as well. By downloading the ARTstor Viewer, instructors can create offline slide shows for their classes using large high-resolution ARTstor images and incorporating images from other sources. Small images (400 pixels long) can be downloaded without the viewer, and are compatible with the latest versions of Power Point, PhotoShop, and other image editing software. The BGSU community has copyright clearance to use the smaller images for noncommercial, educational purposes such as dissertations or conference presentations. For more information and help creating offline presentations, download ARTstor’s Offline Image Viewer from the Utilities menu and use the context sensitive help.

With ARTstor “instructor privileges,” instructors can set up image groups for students to view outside of class. Students can write comments about the images, and even add images of their own if the instructor chooses. The instructor can also choose to allow students to create their own image group as part of an assignment. Some BGSU faculty members are already taking advantage of these features.

To register for ARTstor instructor privileges, you will need an authorization code and password. Contact the Jerome Library reference desk at 419-372-6943 or for this information. Visit ARTstor

Linda A. Brown, Coordinator of Collections
Julie L. Rabine, Interim Acquisitions Coordinator