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Imagine 400,000 high-resolution fine art images at the tip of your typing fingertips. McGill's Blackader Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art now has access to the ARTstor Digital Library Charter Collection. The tool has already proven a boon to art history and communications professors, and could easily be used by other faculty for class presentations, websites and research.
ARTstor is the most comprehensive art database online, comprising images from sources such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Huntingdon Archive of Asian Art and the Smithsonian Institute's anthropological collection of Native American art.
Head librarian Marilyn Berger is developing workshops for students and staff in using ARTstor. "It's really easy," she says. "It eliminates PowerPoint because you can make your own slide show." ARTstor's software allows the user to pan, zoom, group and add text to images.
Previously, one had to laboriously search through a grab bag of links, compiling your images piecemeal. Berger says that the largest compendium used to be AMICO, which is now part of ARTstor. "This will be the first place to go to search for an image," she says.
The license was funded by the Arts Undergraduate Improvement Fund. Berger says "I think this is a great generation of students. They support their library."