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Visual Resources Center (VRC)

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.  

The VRC is located on the first floor of Duke Hall in the 1033 suite.  



MDID logo

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.


The Visual Resources Center includes a seminar room, lighting studio, and Makerspace for use by SADAH faculty, staff, and students.  Students can also come to the Visual Resources Center to use a flatbed scanner or one of five iMac workstations that are equipped with the Adobe Suite and compatible with a Pay-for-Print system.  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. Contact VRC staff for availability of any of these spaces, or come in during walk-in hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. 

Seminar Room
The seminar room can seat 20, and is equipped with:
Dual 16:9 (Widescreen) Data Projectors
AV Connection
Computer – Apple Mac mini
Computer – Windows PC
DVD/VCR Combination Player
Document Camera
Instructor Console
Laptop VGA Cable (Macbooks and iPads require VGA Adapter)
Sound System
Touch Panel Control System – Crestron

Lighting Studio
The lighting studio is equipped with a camera, tripod, black and white backdrops, and a light kit. All undergraduate students must sign a copy of the Lighting Studio Policies and Rental Agreement before using the studio.