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Archive for the ‘Behind the scenes’ Category

Artstor Labs

Artstor Labs

Artstor is always working on improving its services. While you may notice some changes immediately, others might prove more subtle. In the case of Shared Shelf, our digital media management solution, the developments are sometimes dramatic as we work in close collaboration with users.

What is the thinking behind these changes? We’re pulling back the curtain in Artstor Labs (labs.artstor.org), a cross section of ideas, inspirations, and experiments that inform the ongoing digital design of Shared Shelf, the Digital Library, and other initiatives.

Focusing on topics related to visual culture, graphic design, and user experience, Artstor Labs offers a glimpse of our design process in relationship with the broader trends occurring in new media and digital humanities. In keeping with this spirit, entries are arranged hierarchically rather than chronologically to reflect their relationship with previous ideas. As the repository grows, a richly layered listing of nested links will track these ideas over time.

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2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Artstor as a live service. Throughout the year we will introduce you to the people behind our organization and the roles they play in supporting Artstor’s mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning.
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Requests for new features for the Digital Library may come out of conversation with a user, a committee meeting, or by keeping an eye on what everyone else is doing, but the implementation should always happen in the same way.

It takes many hands to turn an idea for a feature into something our users can see. First, we need to document what the feature is. The product strategist along with the interaction designer will document the requirements and user flow. She’ll get input from the stakeholders (whoever asked for it) and the developer (whoever is going to build it). If the feature is a big one, it will be broken up into phases.

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2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Artstor as a live service. Throughout the year we will introduce you to the people behind our organization and the roles they play in supporting Artstor’s mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning.

The core responsibilities of Artstor’s Metadata Department are to analyze, edit, enhance, and map the data we receive from our collection contributors, with the goal of aiding image discovery in the Digital Library. Working with the Collections, Legal, Production, and Technology teams, we strive to find efficient and innovative ways of adding new content to Artstor.

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Sassetta |Madonna of the Snow Altarpiece | 1430-1432 | Galleria degli Uffizi | Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com; scalarchives.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y. RIGHT: Foto Reali Archive (National Gallery of Art, Department of Image Collections)

Sassetta | Madonna of the Snow Altarpiece | 1430-1432 | Galleria degli Uffizi | Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com; scalarchives.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y. RIGHT: Foto Reali Archive (National Gallery of Art, Department of Image Collections)

Long-time users of Artstor may have noticed that the Digital Library holds a number of redundant images. Some come directly from the source collections or are the result of different collections that document the same works of art, while others are details. We often cluster these images, which can be revealed by clicking on the clustered images icon (i-cluster) below the thumbnails. Why not simply delete them? We’re glad you asked.

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2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Artstor as a live service. Throughout the year we will introduce you to the people behind our organization and the roles they play in supporting Artstor’s mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning.

The Production Department is responsible for handling and processing the images that make up the Artstor Digital Library. We collaborate with contributors and other Artstor teams to bring together collections from all over the world and provide the best possible images to our users. Our role can be roughly divided into three parts:

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2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Artstor as a live service. Throughout the year we will introduce you to the people behind our organization and the roles they play in supporting Artstor’s mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning.

You know us as the friendly voice on the phone when you were uncertain if you could project images as a backdrop for a play. Perhaps you know us through quick email exchanges to help you learn how to update your software. Or maybe we met at an educational conference where we shared ideas on how to use Digital Library content in your classroom or research.

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D. James Dee and his archive

Photographer D. James Dee and his archive

In early June, the New York Times published an article about a massive (and massively intriguing) photography archive. D. James Dee, aka the SoHo Photographer, spent almost 40 years documenting contemporary art in New York City and, upon retiring, was searching for a home for his archive. Dee worked for many galleries such as Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc., Paula Cooper Gallery, Holly Solomon Gallery, OK Harris, and artists such as George Segal, Jeff Koons, and many others, in particular during SoHo’s art boom in the 1980s. The archive comprises slides, transparencies, negatives, and digital photographs of approximately 250,000 works of art.

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