|A Coordinated Infrastructure for Image Repositories in the Faculty of Arts
Of the wide range of educational media available to instructors and students, images are the most popular and widespread means of enriching the delivery of instruction. On the UBC campus the plethora of images, often in slide form, remain confined and captured within disciplinary collections for which they were originally created, even though they could be a valuable resource used in multiple ways by users across campus and beyond.
The goal of this project is to create and interconnect image databases to allow instructors and students to use these images for lectures and presentations, but it is also a critical restoration and preservation procedure as many slide collections are in the process of physical disintegration. The digitization process allows for and students. The project will involve a coordinated infrastructure of image repositories within the Faculty of Arts that share common standards and allow the sharing and reuse of resources. The specific project was first TLEF-funded in 2004/05 with $100,000 and has been highly successful in getting many Departments in Arts to digitize their image resources and make them sharable by entering them into the repository. In an extension and a slight modification from last year’s proposal we are now seeking 2nd-round funding to continue the digitization of slides from all proposal partners on a larger scale; our focus will be less on building infrastructure and more on making the resource a useful tool to students and instructors.
The immediate objective of the federated "Image Database” project is to provide faculty and students with an easy online access to large slide collections, and the possible incorporation of these slides in individual presentations, collaborative efforts and research initiatives. It is our intention to connect the federated image database in Arts with similar databases on the UBC campus (Library, Science, and Health Sciences at UBC) and also with repositories beyond UBC. For that reason any development is guided by the standards set through the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) and programming resources will be dedicated to establish the capacities to interconnect authoritative databases.
The second objective of the project will be to map the application of these image objects to educational outcomes through project-based initiatives at the level of individual faculties and units. Our focus is to leverage strategic applications of information and educational technologies in ways that enhance and expand educational processes at UBC.
Given the scale of the project, with many 10,000s of slides to be digitized, it is also the intention of the consortium to seek funding beyond UBC/TLEF resources. A first step has been made by extending our collaboration to the Institute of Asian Research, and in particular the proposed Asian Urban Laboratory (AUL). The AUL is planning to establish a digital image library of materials on Asian cities and to develop an Asian urban database which will draw together statistical, cartographic, textual and visual materials focused on selected Asian cities. This project has just been funded by a CFI-BCKDFO grant and we would expect this collaboration to translate into rich and relevant content for the Arts Image repository in addition to opening up new funding opportunities outside of UBC. We propose for this round of TLEF funding the digitization of about 35,000 slides. By the end of this phase. the Arts Image Repository will have an impressive collection of over 70,000 digital images of scholarly interest. The Visual Resource Collection in AHVAT. the Archaeology database and the Classical Studies database as well as other collections housed in the Arts image repository database will be all accessible through a web interface. The "production process" and underlying technology embedded in digitizing, uploading, searching, retrieving is identical and shared by all members of the consortium.
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Ulrich Rauch, Arts ISIT, Faculty of Arts
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Ulrich Rauch, Arts ISIT, Faculty of Arts