Digital Images and Virtual Scholarly Collections

  1. 1. Daniel Greenstein

    King's College London

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Digital Images and Virtual Scholarly Collections
Daniel Greenstein
The development of increasingly affordable digital imaging technologies combined with the extension of the Internet and of the worldwide web, has resulted in an outpouring of highly distributed digital images and image collections with significant cross-disciplinary and secondary use value for humanities scholars. That value, however, cannot be realised unless digital images are created, documented, and maintained in a manner which permits their ready location, interchange, and secondary use. The challenge is only partly methodological and technical. We may also need to explore new and creative ways to manage relations between those who "own" rights in image resources and those who have an interest in acquiring access to them.

This paper will introduce the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) — a new national service established in the UK to coordinate access to and facilitate the creation and use of electronic resources in the arts and humanities. The AHDS is a distributed service comprising a managing Executive and five Service Providers respectively serving the interests of archaeology, history, the performing arts, textual studies, and the visual arts. Each of the Service Providers will collect, catalogue, manage and preserve digital collections which are of interest to particular scholarly constituencies, while the Executive will take on a managing and integrating role. Given the distributed, mixed media, and interdisciplinary nature of its digital collections, the AHDS may anticipate developmental trajectories for virtual scholarly collections.

Focusing in particular on the work of the AHDS's Visual Arts Data Service, the paper will outline the AHDS's programme for:

developing interdisciplinary collections of digital images, which it seeks to do in part in collaboration with private- and public-sector partners;
managing image collections — an activity which will rest on its identification and adoption of community-wide information interchange standards;
providing uniform on-line access to highly varied and interdisciplinary electronic holdings.
The paper will conclude by inviting discussion with a view to establishing strategic and cross-national partnerships. For further information, visit our web site at

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Conference Info

In review


Hosted at Queen's University

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

June 3, 1997 - June 7, 1997

76 works by 119 authors indexed

Series: ACH/ALLC (9), ACH/ICCH (17), ALLC/EADH (24)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None