Image Resource Center

Image Resource Center's Technology Museum, detail (photo: Jackie Spafford, March 2018)

The Image Resource Center (IRC) in the History of Art & Architecture Department provides image and technology support, available to the whole campus community. We offer assistance with image management and research tools, access to instructional and research media including extensive digital image resources, and assistance with image-focused technology. The facility includes digitizing equipment and two teaching/meeting/workshop rooms.  Our services support individuals (faculty and students), classes, groups, or sessions customized for any focus. We also host regular talks and workshops on innovative image technology applications and Digital Humanities.

About Us

Hours:     Currently closed to visitors
Location:     Arts 1245, near the main HAA office
Phone:     805-893-2509
Staff:     Jackie Spafford, IRC Curator:
              Christine Fritsch, IRC Assistant Curator:
Resources:     Artstor , the online digital library containing over 2.5 million images and other media, covers art and architectural history as well as disciplines beyond and JSTOR Forum , a media and data management, storage and online sharing platform.
Blog:     The Red Dot ,  a good place to learn more about image collections, tools, and new developments in digital learning.

The Facility

The Image Resource Center is home to several unique spaces, functions and collections:

The Digital Image Lab

The DIL focus is the discovery of new technologies through demonstrations and workshops, ultimately informing new directions in pedagogy.  It can accommodate small or large (up to 25) groups for discussions, online meetings, review sessions, and more. It offers flexible seating and work surfaces, two dedicated workstations (PC and Mac), a 55” monitor, interactive projection, and whiteboards. There is extensive wall space with panels that allow material pinning or hanging, and movable shelves, all designed for display or discussion. The DIL is also home to a small reference library containing survey texts and books commonly used in HAA courses.

The Center for Object-Based Research and Learning

COBRAL has been designed to support museum studies, architectural history, and other courses focused on learning through the study of materials. The room can accommodate up to 30 students, with ample mobile surfaces, and shelving for display. There is an adjoining temperature-controlled room for safe storage of borrowed materials, and both spaces are monitored by security cameras and alarms.

Materials Collection

The IRC is developing a materials collection that can be used in our facility or checked out for classroom use.

Scanning Stations

The IRC maintains two Epson 10000XL flatbed scanners and one Nikon 35mm slide scanner. These are set up at computer work stations, one Mac and one PC, and are available on a sign-up basis. Training is provided on request.

The Technology Museum

The IRC manages a collection of pre-digital image technology from the past 60 years, such as image study books and card sets, a variety of slide transparency format examples, and slide projectors and viewers. In addition we have examples of other technology from the last century such as typewriters, early laptops, and electronic storage devices.  Selections from this collection are on rotating display.

35mm Slide Archive

The IRC was once home to over 400,000 35mm slides used for classroom teaching. Over the last 20 years most of the slides have been removed during our transition to digital teaching and collection building. We still maintain a small collection of archival slides, primarily original photography by and from our department’s scholars and their colleagues. Over time these slides are being systematically documented, digitized and shared online.

Our Services

Image Research

The IRC staff are the primary campus resource for image research and use. The main gateway to instructional and research media is the Artstor Digital Library , with over 2.5 million images.  After clicking the Artstor Digital Library link, off-campus access is available through either Your Account (aka your Artstor account; if you do not currently have an Artstor account, you can create one here ) or Your Institution (to log in with your UCSB net id and password). Artstor holdings include materials of value to many disciplines. UCSB recently acquired access to JSTOR Forum , software which supports digital media management, and sharing via Artstor and other platforms.  Please reach out to the IRC staff if you are interested in learning more about Artstor or JSTOR Forum.

In addition to Artstor there are thousands of general and subject-specific online collections available to you, including our own legacy teaching collection on MDID .  Please contact the IRC staff, who can help you locate the highest quality images for your needs.

Training, Demonstrations and Workshops

The IRC staff provides image research orientation to classes, and offers regular workshops for small and large groups. Past workshop topics have included:

  • Online image research (MDID, Artstor, and beyond)
  • Creating gradebooks in Excel
  • Photoshop basics
  • Image copyright overview
  • Bibliographic management tools

We are the organizers and hosts of a Digital Humanities series on Mapping, with hands-on workshops and research presentations.  If you have a request for a workshop or demonstration on a specific topic, please let us know.

Image Copyright

Clarifying which images you can use, and how, can be a frustrating process. The Image Resource Center staff can help with one-on-one counsel and group workshops. However, to get the conversation started we've put together this copyright guide to image use in M.A. Theses and Ph.D. Dissertations .

Course and Classroom Support

Images can be digitized on request by HAA faculty and visiting instructors. Please provide the source (book or print) with a list of pages or figures and allow at least 7 days for processing (for Rush Orders, please contact IRC staff – these will be handled on a case-by-case basis).

IRC staff provide orientations to all HAA classrooms and first line troubleshooting.

Room Reservations

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all potential users must submit the following mandatory forms to use IRC facilities for research purposes only:

For more information about room booking, contact Christine Fritsch,

HAA Research Reservations Calendar