Latin American Art: an on-line research resource
Grant Holder: Professor Valerie Fraser; Libby Armstrong; Joanne Harwood; Sarah Demelo
The aim has been to make the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA) available as a fully illustrated online catalogue. We began by developing a database that would facilitate management of the collection, integrating the full illustrated catalogue with mailing lists, contact and biographical details for artists, details of copyright agreements and other reports forms (records of donation etc), and information about the current location of a work of art etc. Tailoring the relevant aspects of this to suit the needs of an online catalogue was not easy and inevitably perhaps we began by working in circles. How could we decide what should go in the database, and in what form until we had decided what sorts of information people might want, and how it should be presented in web form? But how could we decide what people might want before we ourselves had fully researched the collection in order to find out what sorts of information we could offer? And how could we do this without deciding on the structure of the database we would need in order to store the information we had not yet found? From my own point of view as a traditional academic used to writing books and articles, one of the problems was to get rid of any idea of steering the reader through the material in a certain direction. People use the web in many ways and for many reasons and we have worked to provide a variety of routes into and through our collection to allow for this. Our SEARCH facility begins with the simple search for an artist by name and moves on to a number of other options. The KEYWORD search, for example, will throw up a miscellaneous range of works which we have tagged with any term that seems loosely appropriate in relation to form, content or technique (for example blue; moon; pain; geometry; scratch). The advanced search includes a less arbitrary range of subject categories under THEME where the user is offered a choice of selected themes. This contains categories that may be contentious, such as ethnicity and race, so it has been important to use these with care and to respect the artist's intentions. Other search categories duplicate information available in the three options available under BROWSE: by artist, by type of work, and by country.
|Project start date: 2002-02||Project end date: 2005-04|
|2d modelling - vector||Data structuring and enhancement|
|2d Scanning and photography||Data capture|
|Content analysis||Data analysis|
|Searching and querying||Data analysis|
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Content types created:
Still Image/Graphics, Text
Software tools used:
Source material used:
The source is the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art and the department of Art History's research expertise. The collection comprises over 600 works of art in all media (painting, sculpture, video, sound art etc). The collection was photographed onto 3x4 transparencies and then scanned as tiff files. These were saved as tiff, large, medium and thumbnail images, with the last 3 available via the online site.
Digital resource created:
Aspects of this were covered under Project Description. The online catalogue aims to provide illustrations and interpretative texts about each artwork in UECLAA, a biography of each artist, a country text, and a series of glossary entries in a category designated the UECLAApedia. We have also solicited statements from living artists, something which to our knowledge is unique for a museum catalogue. The artwork texts are written by experts in the field and may include information about the conception, manufacture, content and wider context of the work. We decided that we should not duplicate information easily available elsewhere so the biographies are all c.400-500 words. For a famous artist (e.g. Tamayo) there are links to works in the University's Albert Sloman Library. For less well-known artists the biography will often have been compiled from miscellaneous printed ephemera (private view cards, exhibition leaflets etc) contained in UECLAA Archive. For country entries the emphasis has been on providing an outline history of the art of a particular country in the 20th century but with special reference to UECLAA's holdings. The same is true for the UECLAApedia entries: instead of generic glossary definitions we have aimed to provide explanations of terms, art movements etc that relate specifically to material in UECLAA. The purpose? To provide information about art, artists, artistic movements within a historically, politically and socially informed context as a starting point for students, researchers and the general public interested in the field.
Access to digital resource:
Production of compressed JPEG files from uncompressed TIFF files for web dissemination".
Data Formats created:
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
Institutions affiliated with this project:
|UK HE institutions involved:|
|University of Essex|
Project staff and expertise:
|Principal staff member:||Professor Valerie Fraser|
|Other staff:||Computing officer(s) / Technical supporter(s), Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)|
|Metadata on this arts-humanities.net record|
|Author(s) of record||Valerie Fraser|
|Title||Latin American Art: an on-line research resource|
|Record updated||2010-06-11 11:17|
|URL of record||http://www.arts-humanities.net/node/2163|
|Citation of record||Valerie Fraser: Latin American Art: an on-line research resource.|
created: 2005-11-07, last updated 2010-06-11 11:17