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Pieces of Eight


Digital Images Accessible

By William Joseph Thomas

Students, faculty and researchers at East Carolina University can now access online approximately 400,000 visual images and related data through ARTstor, a non-profit initiative with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching and learning. Access is provided by Joyner Library through its database pages.

ARTstor documents artistic and historical traditions across many time-periods and cultures and focuses on, but is not limited to, the arts. ARTstor’s Charter Collection contains approximately 400,000 digital images of visual material from different cultures and disciplines, and seeks to offer sufficient breadth and depth to support a wide range of non-commercial educational and scholarly activities.

ARTstor’s software tools enable users to view and analyze images through features such as zooming and panning, and to save groups of images for personal or group uses, as well as for use in lectures and other presentation, either online or off-line.

The Collection has been derived from several source collections that are the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars. These source collections include:

• The Image Gallery: A collection of 200,000 images of world art and culture, constructed in response to college teaching needs. Since the images have been cataloged with subject headings, they will be useful both to those in the arts and in many other fields;

• The Carnegie Arts of the United States: A widely used collection of images documenting aspects of the history of American art, architecture, visual and material culture;

• The Hartill Archive of Architecture and Allied Arts: A collection that documents the architectural history of the Western world from earliest antiquity to the present.

• The Huntington Archive of Asian Art: A broad photographic overview of the art of Asia from 3000 B.C. through the present;

• The Illustrated Bartsch: A collection containing images and data related to more than 50,000 old master European prints from the 15th to 19th Centuries;

• The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive: Images of wall paintings and sculpture from the Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China, along with related objects and art from the caves that are now in museums and libraries in Europe and the United States;

• The MoMA Architecture and Design Collection: A comprehensive collection of high resolution images representing the holdings of the Department of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

• Native American Art and Culture from the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution: More than 10,000 high-resolution images made from historic photographs documenting Native American subjects.

• Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection: A collection of 36,000 high quality digital images from the Schlesinger Library’s archives.

For information on ARTstor, contact the Joyner Library Reference Desk at 328-6677, email, or contact a departmental liaison librarian.

This page originally appeared in the May 19, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at