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Monday, March 22

11:00am CDT

Visual Communication for Knowledge Acquisition, Processing and Dissemination [Add-On Workshop 2]
$40.00 for conference attendees | Limited to 30 participants.
Register for this workshop through the conference online registration

Would you like to improve your understanding of visuals, improve the impact of your presentations, and better remember content?    
This four-hour workshop will engage participants in a variety of techniques to better use visuals in capturing and presenting information. Participants will investigate and learn about the power of visual communication and how it improves our processing and retention of information. Hands-on activities like how to take visual notes (sketchnoting), mindmapping, and other drawing exercises (no artistic ability is necessary - really!), will be demonstrated so participants can better remember information, share knowledge with others, and communicate ideas more engagingly.

avatar for John Trendler

John Trendler

Curator of Visual Resources, Scripps College
technology, databases, archives, design, cycling

Sheryl Frisch

Visual Resource Specialist, California Polytechnic State University

Session Organizers
avatar for Rebecca Moss

Rebecca Moss

LATIS Engagement and Online Experiences Consultant, University of Minnesota
I've become a big fan of sketchnoting or visual note taking and am interested in learning more and practicing this with others. I am also a big believer in the power of play to produce creative learning environments.

Monday March 22, 2021 11:00am - 3:00pm CDT

1:00pm CDT

Digital Accessibility and Accessible Design Practices [Add-On Workshop 3] -- WORKSHOP FULL
$30.00 for conference attendees | Limited to 25 participants.
Register for this virtual workshop through the conference online registration

This workshop focuses on the concepts of digital accessibility and accessible design practices, and the tools and strategies we can use when creating digital projects to be sure we are making them useful to as many people as possible. This year has seen a necessary focus on virtual teaching and resource creation - how are accessibility needs being considered?

This workshop will not be recorded.

avatar for Tiffany Saulter

Tiffany Saulter

Accessibility Consultant and Trainer, Deque
Digital Librarian and pop culture fanatic.
avatar for Carie Fisher

Carie Fisher

Sr. Accessibility Consultant and Trainer, Deque
Carie Fisher is an author, speaker, and developer who is passionate about the intersection of front-end code and UX, digital accessibility, and diversity in technology. Currently, Carie is employed as a Senior Accessibility Consultant and Trainer at Deque Systems while pursuing h... Read More →

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vrcHost specializes in installation, integration, customization, and feature development for the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) project - an open source digital content management system used at hundreds of institutions worldwide for teaching and scholarship in the visual arts... Read More →

Monday March 22, 2021 1:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Tuesday, March 23

1:00pm CDT

Re-imagining digital collections metadata: improving workflows and supporting user experience
Rachel Jaffe & Jess Waggoner, "Building User-focused Digital Collections" In this presentation, Rachel and Jess will introduce the UC Santa Cruz DAMS development team’s work on user-centered design and development. Jess will share her work in conducting user research, creating user personas and journey maps. Rachel will follow by describing how the team responded to needs that surfaced by updating the DAMS data model and rethinking how we present and contextualize digital collections material.

Devon Murphy, "Critical Metadata: Re-examining Data Transformation " Data transformation tools such as Open Refine and Tableau are increasingly being used by GLAM professionals to process metadata relating to visual collections. However, critical analysis of their usage is limited, especially in relation to critical cataloging or non-Western information protocols. This paper and related demonstration of an Open Refine workflow aims to examine how GLAM professionals can employ critical cataloging practices alongside these tools, as well as their limits. This paper will first introduce the highlighted data transformation tool, Open Refine, and its applications to cataloging/metadata work, then move to a discussion of current critical cataloging best practices. The paper will then culminate in a demonstration of a workflow combining critical cataloging best practices within data transformation, prepping it for use in a catalog, finding aid, or controlled vocabulary. (Examples can include but are not limited to LGBTQ+ artists, Native American artists and art terms).

avatar for Krystal Boehlert

Krystal Boehlert

Digital Initiatives Specialist, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside
Krystal Boehlert is the Digital Initiatives Specialist at the University of California, Riverside Library. She supports Digitization Services as well as the Digital Scholarship Program. She has previously worked in UCR Art History's Visual Resources Collections, as well as the Getty... Read More →

avatar for Rachel Jaffe

Rachel Jaffe

Digital Content & Metadata Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz
Rachel Jaffe is the Digital Content & Metadata Librarianat the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she serves as the productowner of the library’s DAMS development project, and as the primary resourcefor non-MARC metadata design, structure and standards. She is currentlypresident... Read More →
avatar for Jess Waggoner

Jess Waggoner

User Experience & Web Services Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz
avatar for Devon Murphy

Devon Murphy

TARO Metadata Analyst, University of Texas at Austin
Researcher and artist focused on critical cataloging; Indigenous knowledge organization systems/GLAMs; art information, including Native American art information; metadata scripting and transformation; information/metadata ethics; the study of collecting, cataloging, and description... Read More →

Tuesday March 23, 2021 1:00pm - 1:45pm CDT

2:00pm CDT

Learning to catalog art: An art documentation classroom experience
We propose a panel to discuss an educational art documentation project. The panelists were all students in an Art Documentation MLIS course at Simmons University in the fall of 2019. During the course, students learn about various procedures, tools, and standards used for art documentation in libraries, archives, and museums. The course culminates in students working in small groups to identify a series of three public artworks for detailed description. Public artworks are defined loosely, and may include municipal artworks in public spaces, street art, or graffiti art. Public art, as defined above, was chosen because it is less frequently documented formally in institutional records. These artworks also pose several challenges  in description, including, but not limited to: discovering proper artist attribution information; how to list names of artists who may prefer anonymity; determining when artworks were created, installed, modified, etc.; measuring works, some quite large and/or complex; photographically documenting works and their surroundings; and complexities of subject description.  Students were asked to choose a standard for description of their chosen set of works, and to defend their choice of standard. They were also asked to consider the social implications of the description they would provide, based on the history (if known), conditions of creation, and public response to the artworks. Each group presented a summary of their work with their complete records, their rationale for descriptive choices, and how they met the challenges listed above.

avatar for Ann M. Graf

Ann M. Graf

Assistant Professor, Simmons University
I teach information organization and art documentation to graduate students in our library and information science program at Simmons. My own research focuses on facets for description of graffiti art, and very recently, on hashtagging and visual elements of Covid-19-related graffiti... Read More →


Maria Lentini

Assistant Curriculum Librarian, Framingham State University
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Katie Carlson

Staff Librarian, Beverly Public Library
avatar for Willa Anderson

Willa Anderson

Technical Services Librarian, Redwood Library & Athenaeum
avatar for KL Pereira

KL Pereira

MLIS Candidate, Simmons University
• Multilingual world-wide traveler with passion for cultural diversity and community-based leadership• Commitment to open access in the arts and sciences, including digitization initiatives in publishing, archives, and libraries• Comprehensive management of data from the documentation... Read More →

avatar for vrcHost


vrcHost specializes in installation, integration, customization, and feature development for the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) project - an open source digital content management system used at hundreds of institutions worldwide for teaching and scholarship in the visual arts... Read More →

Tuesday March 23, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Wednesday, March 24

1:00pm CDT

‘63 Boycott: How a digital audiovisual civil rights collection inspires new generations of students
‘63 Boycott is a documentary film that connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism. On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest entrenched racial segregation. Unseen 16mm film footage of the march shot by director Gordon Quinn in 1963 formed the basis for the documentary that features interviews with civil rights leaders and follows activism at Chicago Public Schools through the present day.    This presentation will detail the unique collaboration between Kartemquin Films, Mikva Challenge, and Media Burn Archive to create interactive digital tools to enable teaching and learning with the body of footage shot and collected for ‘63 Boycott.    Creating access to a collection of never-before-seen footage provides students with the opportunity for meaningful and unique scholarship. Harnessing the power of archival footage, students will be able to make connections across time and space to tell nuanced, fact-based stories that showcase how today's struggles for social justice build on lived experience and enduring issues.      Participants will walk away from the session with a model for how archives can engage the public with collections of camera original footage; why rights holders should consider allowing re-use of their materials; and how educators can incorporate archival media into the classroom.


Tracye A. Matthews

Producer, Kartemquin FIlms

Rachel Dickson

Producer, Kartemquin Films
Kartemquin is a collaborative community empowering documentary makers who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society. Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by innovative community engagement.
avatar for Gordon M Quinn

Gordon M Quinn

Director, Kartemquin Films
Gordon QuinnArtistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 50 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. At Kartemquin, Gordon... Read More →

Session Organizers
avatar for Sara Chapman

Sara Chapman

Executive Director, Media Burn Archive

Wednesday March 24, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm CDT
Thursday, March 25

1:00pm CDT

Power and Respect: Giving Back IPR Rights to Vulnerable Communities
How can intellectual property rights be leveraged, documented, and framed in order to hold up the rights of vulnerable communities, provide repatriations to them, and ensure their data security? As curators, archivists, and librarians who participate in documenting future histories and hidden histories, how do we include marginalized communities into the documentation of their own visual media histories? For this VRA 2021 conference session, presenters who work in archives, digital scholarship, and museums will share techniques, methodologies, and policies that consider vulnerable communities ownership of intellectual property rights when building digital archives, digital collections, and digital humanities projects.


Chelsea Stone

Digital Content Specialist, ProLogis

avatar for Sriba Kwadjovie Quintana

Sriba Kwadjovie Quintana

Intellectual Property Manager, SFMOMA
avatar for April Hathcock

April Hathcock

Director of Scholarly Communications & Information Policy, NYU
April Hathcock is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU where she educates the campus community on issues of ownership, access, and rights in the research lifecycle. She received her J.D. and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke University School of Law and... Read More →
avatar for Meredith Hale

Meredith Hale

Metadata Librarian, University of Tennessee Libraries
avatar for Kate Thornhill

Kate Thornhill

Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Oregon
Kate Thornhill has worked at the University of Oregon Libraries since 2018, and teaches digital libraries and digitization for the University of Denver's Library and Information Science online masters degree program. Throughout her career, she has been devoted to developing and sustaining... Read More →

Thursday March 25, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm CDT

2:00pm CDT

With a Critical Eye: Analyzing Impact of Visual Resources
Michalle Gould, "Teaching Visual Literacy in the Context of Social Media" The Association of College and Research Libraries' Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education defines visual literacy as a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media." Individuals in fields that rely heavily on visual resources are more accustomed to analyzing and interpreting visual imagery; however, precisely because they are trained to value visual information, they may be more vulnerable to the mis-use of images on social media to provoke an emotional response.  In classes on Visual Rhetoric and Aesthetic, I have presented lessons on visual literacy as it applies to social media, discussing some of the ways that images can be misleading and presenting techniques for applying critical thinking to images presented as support for arguments related to social/political issues.  In this paper, I will discuss the importance of more widespread implementation of visual literacy instruction at the college level, and propose suggestions for how to integrate a greater focus on visual literacy into existing frameworks for information literacy instruction.

Dijia Chen, "the Unintended "Afterlife": The Presentation, Reproduction and Circulation of Exhibitionary Representations in Architectural Production" This paper traces the production, the presentation and the “afterlife” of an exhibited image in the 2001 exhibition “TUMU: Young Architecture of China.” While the photo was not included in the exhibition catalogue and occupied an inconspicuous spot on site, its wide circulation, repetitive reproduction and multiple interpretations in news reports, online discussions, and professional critiques have won quick reputation for the architect, resulting in domestic and international awards, exhibitions and new projects. The stunning representation of the façade reached out far beyond its maker’s intention and in turn shape the professional career of the architect in unexpected ways, even though the building itself was more immature than satisfactory as an early project, featuring a mundane floor plan and many practical problems in use. This research problematizes the process in which the complex body of architecture is negotiated in the displaced photographic representations by analyzing the texts and narratives from different cultural, language, geographic and temporal backgrounds that facilitated the unintended popularization of the image. While acknowledging the flattening of programmatic complexity, I see the image as an autonomous assemblage of meaning independent to architecture. Tracing the image’s impact on the career development of the architect, I argue that the project was not only recognized as an image, but also, consciously or unconsciously, designed as an exhibitionist building. The paper, therefore, further informs of the state of design specific to the early experimentations of contemporary Chinese architects, characterized by image-based media practices and transcultural communications.

Charlotte India Eagle, "Digital Legacy Building": Since the establishment of the first presidential library under Franklin D. Roosevelt, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has put forth 13 subsequent presidential libraries each more idolatrous than the previous. This paper begins by analyzing the creation of the Presidential Library System and how it (and NARA) became a method of legacy building for past presidents. In looking at the historical policies, the paper goes on to suggest how implications of the current shift to a digital library chosen by President Barack Hussein Obama, is starting to breakdown previously established issues of access, digitization, and legacy building. 


Maggie Murphy

Visual Art & Humanities Librarian, UNC Greensboro University Libraries


Michalle Gould

Assistant Librarian, Laguna College of Art and Design
avatar for Dijia Chen

Dijia Chen

PhD Candidate, University of Virginia
Dijia Chen is a third-year doctoral student in the Constructed Environment program at the School of Architecture, The University of Virginia. Her research work lands at the intersection of curatorial studies, transcultural communication studies, and contemporary Chinese architecture... Read More →
avatar for Charlotte India Eagle

Charlotte India Eagle

Freelance Archivist

Thursday March 25, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Friday, March 26

10:00am CDT

VRCs in the Digital Humanities Realm
In the last two decades the role of the Visual Resources/Media Center has changed considerably. Several centers have been closed, and others have moved from departments to a central location such as the library or information resources. The irony in these changes is that visual resources professionals and the work they have been doing for the last two decades can now be employed in interpretive endeavors in addition to the collecting and delivery functions that have been their hallmark since the days of slides. This session will feature digital art history/digital humanities projects supported and guided by visual resources professionals. From the creation of digital exhibitions to timelines to maps to more sophisticated image and data analysis, VRA members are an integral source of support in these endeavors.    

Presenter 1: Catherine Adams, "In want of a dataset: Text Analysis and the VRC" Like many similar facilities, the Visual Resources Centre (VRC) at Penn State has been diversifying its mission as part of a Department of Art History. While the VRC staff and several graduate students have been actively exploring Digital Art History, the majority of faculty have not shown an interest in it. The field of art history also is lacking in one thing essential to most digital humanities projects: readily available datasets. In the Summer of 2019, the VRC started exploring the creation of a dataset compiled from the department’s list of awarded master’s and PhD theses but found it limiting. In Fall 2019, this problem was solved when the department head expressed an interest in creating a dataset from the CAA published listings of awarded PhDs. This much larger dataset could then be used in various text analysis projects. This paper will briefly explore the creation of the dataset, several text analysis tools, and questions for the future.

Presenter 2: Steve Tatum, “Exhibiting a Slide Collection: The Life and Career of Leonard J. Currie, FAIA” Leonard Currie headed the Virginia Tech architecture program, in Blacksburg, Virginia, from 1956 to 1962, where he was a seminal figure. After Currie’s death in 1996, his daughter left his slide collection with the Virginia Tech Art and Architecture Library, where Steve Tatum began scanning and cataloging it about ten years ago. The collection comprises 13,000 original slides chronicling Currie’s career in remarkable detail from studying with Gropius and Breuer at Harvard, through heading an Organization of American States program for low-cost housing in Bogotá, heading architecture programs at Virginia Tech and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and then settling into private practice in Blacksburg. Currie documented his slides meticulously throughout his career on the mounts and boxes. Cataloging has always required some research to understand his notations in English and Spanish. During the summer of 2020, Tatum expanded the research to interpret Currie’s career for a year-long exhibition in the Art and Architecture Library as well as a more thorough account published in WordPress.

Presenter 3: Tess Colwell, Catherine DeRose, and Lindsay King "Reimagining Yale's Visual Resource Collection using PixPlot" Yale University’s Arts Library Digital Services (ALDS) manages collections of legacy images related to global art, architecture, and material culture to support teaching and research in the arts and humanities. These images, which form the basis of Yale’s Visual Resources Collection, consist of more than 370,000 digital images items comprised of lantern slides, 35mm slides, and photographs. The collection contains a range of descriptive metadata, from comprehensive and detailed item-level information to minimal or no descriptive metadata. As the need and demand for a VRC slide library has evolved over the last decade, the ALDS staff have continued seeking new ways to make the materials more meaningful to students and faculty at Yale. In early 2020, ALDS staff submitted a Rapid Prototyping Grant with Yale’s Digital Humanities Lab to develop a humanities application utilizing the 370,000 images and metadata. Rapid Prototyping Grants support focused design and development interventions to help innovative digital humanities projects get started or to add a new feature to existing projects. During the grant period, the project team built a prototype of the platform PixPlot, using a sample of images and metadata from the VRC materials. This project aims to view the VRC images in PixPlot, where students can engage and interpret the images and metadata in new ways and at new scales, while also providing a broader perspective of pedagogical practices in Yale’s History of Art Department over the last 60 years. This collection of images is valuable mainly as a collection that has accumulated and grown over time. What can we learn about the collection by viewing it at scale? What can we learn about VRC collections across institutions? This type of work has not been done in the visual resources community, and we believe having a platform for other institutions to contribute or analyze VRC materials would provide a meaningful contribution to the field. This presentation will include context and background information, a demo of the prototype, and a discussion on next steps and what we can learn based on the project’s findings.

Endorsed by the Education Committee.

avatar for Carolyn Lucarelli

Carolyn Lucarelli

Visual Resources Curator, Penn State University
Carolyn Lucarelli has worked as a visual resources curator in the Department of Art History Visual Resources Centre (VRC) at Penn State University since 1998. Before coming to Penn State, she was assistant museum librarian in the Photograph and Slide Library at The Metropolitan Museum... Read More →


Steve Tatum

Digital Collections and Arts Curator, Virginia Tech
Visual Resource Curator, Virginia Tech
avatar for Catherine D. Adams

Catherine D. Adams

Assistant Curator, VRC, Penn State University

Tess Colwell

Arts Librarian for Research Services, Yale University
avatar for Catherine Derose

Catherine Derose

Program Manager, Digital Humanities Lab, Yale University Library
avatar for Lindsay King

Lindsay King

Associate Director for Access and Research Services, Haas Arts Library, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University
At the Haas Arts Library at Yale University, I oversee public services--including reference, instruction, outreach, and digital services--supporting students and faculty in art, history of art, architecture, drama, theater studies and dance. I am the library liaison and subject selector... Read More →

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vrcHost specializes in installation, integration, customization, and feature development for the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) project - an open source digital content management system used at hundreds of institutions worldwide for teaching and scholarship in the visual arts... Read More →

Friday March 26, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am CDT
  • Lifecycle Category USE

11:00am CDT

Digital Humanities/Digital Scholarship
An opportunity to further conversation from that session as well as provide open discussion opportunities for members working in DH / DS.

Katherine Howells, "Enriching user engagement with digitised and non-digitised image collections through digital research and online exhibitions" This paper offers tangible and practical approaches to using catalogue data and digitised archival image more effectively to engage audiences online. It suggests how innovative research methods and software can be applied to different image collections so will be of interest to any attendee responsible for managing an image collection and improving public engagement.

Presenter: Jeannine Keefer, University of Richmond
The East End Cemetery Archive, a searchable repository of records and research related to East End Cemetery, a historic African American burial ground in Henrico County and the city of Richmond, Virginia.
The archive serves as a knowledge hub for descendants, students, scholars, and members of the public who are conducting genealogical and historical research, as well as people with more general interests—late 19th- and 20th-century Richmond and Virginia history, African American narratives, Jim Crow, and other topics.
Created by the East End Cemetery Collaboratory, the archive brings together a wide range of primary sources—portraits, death certificates, marriage records, draft registration cards, obituaries, newspaper articles, and more—and data drawn from the cemetery itself, such as GPS coordinates, gravestone photographs, and written descriptions of markers and plots. It is linked to the Collaboratory’s spatial map of the cemetery, memorial records on Find A Grave, and eastendcemeteryrva.com, a website by Erin Hollaway Palmer, Brian Palmer, and Jolene Smith that places the cemetery in its historical context.


Brian Shelburne

Head, Digital Scholarship Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Jeannine Keefer

Visual Resources Librarian, University of Richmond
avatar for Katherine Howells

Katherine Howells

Visual Collections Researcher, The National Archives of the UK

Friday March 26, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
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