Monday, December 26, 2011

Keighley and Perry

Although I talk about libraries and museums on this blog, I haven't said much about my job at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I work part time as an Associate Museum Librarian in the Image Library, which for over a century has been the repository and archive for the collection and dissemination of visual images in all media for educational and commercial uses. The collection holdings include stereoscopes, negatives, and 35mm slides, although not surprisingly we work almost exclusively with digital images now. I do a variety of tasks, including reference, instruction, and cataloging, but I'm also project manager for a few digitization projects. For instance, I'm currently working on selecting and cataloging historic views of the Met's galleries from the 1900s through the 1950s, which will be scanned from our lantern slide collection. This is a project being done in partnership with NYU's Institute of Fine Arts Visual Resources Center. But another project on which I was working for more than 5 years (with IFA and ARTstor, in particular a large number of individuals deserving lots of credit for all their hard work over the years) has been the digitization of selected images from the William Keighley Collection, a set of about 35,000 slides donated to the Met from 1958 through the 1970s by Keighley, a well-known film director. He had a second career as an amateur art and architectural historian and with his directorial eye took beautiful images of exterior and interior spaces throughout Europe, including private estates closed to the public at the time. We've been working to make about 10% of these images available for educational uses in digital format, including the image you see here showing the library of Saint Florian Abbey in northern Austria, which ARTstor is using to promote the collection. In order to see and download the images, you must belong to a university/museum that subscribes to ARTstor, but you can read more about the project here and see the official release here.

In related news, bklynbiblio readers may recall my very positive blog review of the Grayson Perry exhibition currently on at the British Museum. I subsequently revised and expanded this review in its entirety and I am pleased to announce that it has just been published in the Winter 2012 newsletter of the Historians of British Art. (I do hope the teddy bear god Alan Measles is pleased by the news.)

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