June 16, 2008

Library makes ARTstor digital collection available

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Visitors to Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library can now access hundreds of thousands of high-quality digital images thanks to the recent addition of ARTstor.

Some 700,000 images of interest in the fields of art, architecture, humanities and social sciences comprise ARTstor’s digital library. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation electronic resource is accessible at www.artstor.org from computers with an SIUC network connection. ARTstor is a valuable tool for educators and students in a variety of fields, giving them access to a huge store of images as well as the tools to fully utilize them.

“Anyone can search and successfully find images on the Internet, but ARTstor provides a robust collection of high-quality images,” said David H. Carlson, dean of library affairs at SIUC. “In addition, the platform provides software tools that permit faculty and students to use the resources and easily integrate them into classroom presentations and discussions.”

SIUC faculty and administration enthusiastically greeted news of the ARTstor acquisition.

“We’re very excited about ARTstor,” said Carma R. Gorman, art and design associate professor. “It will be a fantastic tool not only for specialized art history courses, but also for our Core Curriculum courses and for courses in a number of other humanistic disciplines. I can’t wait to use it.”

Roger L. Cross, library affairs assistant professor and Morris Library’s collection development librarian, likened browsing the ARTstor collections to “visiting several museums of world culture and society.”

“ARTstor is an amazing accomplishment in the coverage of day-to-day artifacts and crafted items from around the world,” Cross said. “It truly has taken the broadest multicultural approach to amassing images of such breadth and depth with the highest level of resolution.”

In recent decades, the academic world has moved from analog slides to digital images. The Mellon Foundation’s creation of JSTOR, a non-profit online archive of digitalized scholarly journals, has proven a huge success, followed by the establishment of ARTstor.