image resource center  

The Image Resource Center (formerly the Visual Resources Collection) consists of over 70,000 digital images and approximately 300,000 35mm slides, which provide comprehensive coverage of Western and non-Western art and architecture. The IRC database (MDID) contains over 100,000 records, from both the IRC's own collection as well as images and data from the Archivision digital image library and several other UCSB collections. We no longer add slides to the collection, and slides are gradually being phased out. However slides are are still available for instructors to check out for classroom use. Digital assets are growing rapidly, and are available for searching and download to registered users. The primary function of the IRC is to provide teaching and research support to History of Art and Architecture Faculty, and to all UCSB faculty and graduate students. The IRC staff can provide assistance with access to the various licensed and free digital image archives available, such as ARTstor, and can assist with implementation of new image technology in teaching.

IRC staff is always available to help:
   IRC Curator: Jackie Spafford - spafford@hfa.ucsb.edu
   IRC Assistant Curator: Christine Fritsch-Hammes - christinef-h@hfa.ucsb.edu

location: Arts 1245

phone: 805-893-2509
fax: 805-893-7117

IRC hours: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

IRC blog: visit The Red Dot to stay up to date on IRC and ARTstor collection additions and other image news.

image request order form (PDF): download the interactive PDF form, fill it in, and email or fax it to us.

access to digital images

  • IRC's digital image database (MDID): contains over 100,000 text records and 70,000 images (now includes over 35,000 Archivision images, UCSB Library's Medieval Bibles, and the Richard Ross Photography Collection)
  • ARTstor: UCSB also has a license to this repository of over a million images. Access is available from any campus computer, and from off-campus after registration. Refer to the ARTstor Quick Reference Guide (PDF) for more information
    • To use ARTstor from a computer off campus you will need to log on to UCSB's proxy server (via the library):
      1. Submit your UCSBNetID (the first part of your UCSB email address) and Password (email password) on https://login.proxy.library.ucsb.edu:9443/login
      2. You should receive a "Success" page: "Welcome to UCSB University Library Off-Campus Access. You will now have access to licensed library resources."
      3. On this page, click Article Indexes and Databases
      4. Scroll down the list of databases and click on ARTstor. If you look at the URL, it shows you are now using ARTstor through the library's proxy server. (http://library.artstor.org.proxy.library.ucsb.edu:2048/library/welcome.html)
    • For proxy server troubleshooting, click here.
  • Additional online image resources list that is updated regularly

irc training and support

IRC staff can provide group or individual assistance with:

  1. Using the IRC's digital image database (searching, image downloading, etc.)
  2. Using ARTstor (searching, image downloading, using the Offline Image Viewer, etc.)
  3. Contributing images to either online collection
  4. Using subject-specific online image resources and understanding standard digital image specifications
  5. PowerPoint and OIV presentation software
  6. Image and/or PDF scanning and file storage
  7. Other services on request
  8. Note: there are some helpful online tutorials for a variety of software and tasks here and UCSB classes here

image digitizing options on campus

1.  Do it yourself digitizing

A. IRC scanning stations (for History of Art and Architecture users only)

  • There are two public scanning stations in the IRC, one PC and one Mac. The PC has a flatbed scanner (Epson 10000 XL) and a Nikon Coolscan slide scanner. The Mac also has a flatbed scanner (Epson 10000 XL) that can accommodate slides, negatives and larger transparencies
  • Bring a memory stick or a blank CD on which to save your images; for a small order, you can also email files to yourself
  • To reserve and specific day/time, there is a sign-up page beside each workstation - please sign up or phone us to reserve your preferred time
  • Please book an orientation with an IRC staff member before you start

B. Arts Library scanning station

  • There is a large format flatbed scanner with a transparency (slide) adapter
  • Images can be saved via a flash drive, the CD burner, zip drive and floppy drive
  • Place a reservation at the Arts Library front desk or call 893-2850

C. COLLABORATE Instructional Computer Labs

2. Ordering images from the IRC

The IRC is actively building its digital image collection (no more slides are being created or accessioned). If HAA faculty or graduate students require images for a course that are not already available digitally and would be appropriate additions to the collection, they can be ordered through the IRC. Order forms are available in the IRC or downloaded here. Once the order is completed, return to the IRC in person or via email or fax.  If you have a very large or ongoing order, please discuss grant options with Jackie Spafford

3. Instructional Development

You can order digital images at Kerr Hall’s Photographic Services (Room 1120, phone 893-2448).

4. Off-campus Imaging Services

To create digital files from slides or prints, try www.scancafe.com
To create slides from digital files, try slides.com


slide lending

The IRC loans slides to History of Art and Architecture Faculty and Teaching Assistants for teaching purposes. HAA graduate students can also use slides for seminars and lectures; graduate students from other UCSB departments for seminars and lectures on condition that prior arrangements are made for a faculty member to assume responsibility for the slides. Museum staff from both the UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art may borrow slides for teaching purposes only.

a few notes about slide care

It is best to store slides in an environment with a stable temperature of 70F and stable humidity of 45-50%. This ensures a longer and healthier life for 35mm slides, but only if the slides remain there most of the time. Slides that sit in offices, houses, briefcases or cars for extended periods of time are going to have shorter lives - they will grow mold or fungus, warp from dampness and changes in temperature, and/or become discoloured.

The slides in the IRC are mounted in archival Gepe mounts, which are made of plastic and glass. These mounts protect the film, but they are also quite fragile - please do not drop, bend or otherwise traumatize them. When transporting them, please keep them in a stiff box, binder or carousel - do NOT put them in plastic slide sheets and lay them between books, in your suitcase, etc. Many of the labels on our slides have old and inferior glue, causing them to fall off when handled. We are doing our best to retro-catalogue and relabel these slides; however they fall off faster than we can keep up. Please help us by returning loose labels with the slides they belong to.