Visual Resources Center
Facilitating and enhancing the study and teaching of art history, art education, aesthetics, and the fine and applied arts at James Madison University is the primary objective of the Visual Resources Center. Its purpose is to provide services and resources for the entire program of the School of Art, Design, and Art History, as well as the university at large. The Visual Resources Center provides ongoing training and support for students and faculty. For more information, visit the VRC website.
The Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) was initially developed through JMU’s Center for Instructional Technology, and is used at over 100 institutions worldwide. Currently in its third version, MDID is accessed through a secure website that allows JMU students and faculty to create and browse presentations of high-resolution images using an impressive viewer that can zoom, pan, and compare images side-by-side. Students can even print out flashcards of their instructor’s presentations for review. The Art, Design and Art History collection in MDID contains over 120,000 images, with more continually being added by the Visual Resources Center staff. Training is offered in classes, by appointment, and on a walk-in basis, with additional help documents and videos available online.
Students in the School of Art, Design, and Art History can also take advantage of JMU’s subscription to the ARTstor Digital Library, a repository of over 1.5 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences. Staff in the Visual Resources Center is available to assist students with finding images, assessing related copyright issues, and creating presentations.
Facilities and Equipment:
The Visual Resources Center houses a seminar room and two collaboration labs that students can reserve individually or in small groups. These spaces give students a place to practice presentations, hold group meetings, photograph their own work, or simply study in peace. Students can also come to the Visual Resources Center to use Canon Rebel cameras, Canon Vixia HD camcorders, a flatbed scanner, or one of five iMac workstations. A small collection of art publications and reference materials is also available. Appointments are recommended for use of the Lighting Studio and Makerspace; walk-ins are welcome to all other spaces.
Grace Barth, Visual Resources Librarian