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Volume: 7 | Article ID: art00025
A New Approach to Accessing Images for Education
  DOI :  10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2010.7.1.art00025  Published OnlineJanuary 2010

The paper presents the results of a research project aimed at enhancing a digital image resource for educational users which contains fine art, cultural and historical images that are individually keyworded and catalogued. The project aimed at identifying the needs of the sector in terms of image resources and directed the management and the development of the image collection towards addressing these needs. In the process, the definite need for high-quality (metadata and resolution) images in teaching, research and studying was identified, together with the requirement of exploring are who the users and what are their image needs in accordance with the level and field of study. However, what also emerged was a lack of awareness of quality resources (either free or upon payment of a fee) that provide copyright-cleared images and what they can offer within education institutions for students and academic staff.Users of the resource confirmed that they are sometimes not convinced about how learners and educators would use it since they are not accustomed to online resources. If images cannot be found, students and academic staff will settle for what they can find and not what they need. Academics also confirmed their lack of time to search for images in a wide range of databases. Visual resource professionals suggest a variety of ways (from wikis to user tagging to blogs) in which searching and retrieving images can be effectively achieved. As a result, the focus of the second part of the project became the classification of the available images into sets, to facilitate their searchability and retrievability by users. Consequently, sets of images and search indexes were created for subjects not strongly related to the arts. The completed sets relate to Graphic Design and History of Science. Work is currently being undertaken to create an Archaeology set and a Fashion and Costume set, together with two sets on Asian and Indian Art. The Graphic Design Search Index is the result of a project undertaken to investigate the use of art and design images in higher education graphic design courses. The History of Science Search Index was created in consultation with students on a related course and evaluated by academic staff.The creation of these sets included consultation with experts in their respective fields and in art periods and movements, themes and categories. Despite the fact that the image metadata is consistent and uses the VRA Core 4.0 satisfactorily, as well as the ULAN artists' birth and death dates together with nationality, the realisation that keywords and classification should be in accordance with cataloguing standards adopted by the image library has been integral to this process. This paper discusses the ways in which the images were classified and retrieved in order to form the specific sets. In the future, more search indexes are planned to apply to a wide variety of fields to guide users through the image collections.

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Kalliopi Vacharopoulou, David Penfold, Lindsay MacDonald, Pandora Mather-Lees, "A New Approach to Accessing Images for Educationin Proc. IS&T Archiving 2010,  2010,  pp 134 - 141,

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