University of Illinois Library

1408 W. Gregory Drive


Urbana, IL, 61801


Web and Print Resources

This page is maintained by the Digital Services and Development Unit of the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Contributions are welcomed. If you would like to suggest links for us to add to our collection, please email us. If you are visiting our site from the University of Illinois Campus, and would like to know more about local imaging projects, check here.


  • Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access


    A free, full-text version of the book is provided by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. (July 2001)

  • Digital Imaging Tutorial provided by Cornell University


    A tutorial offering basic information on digitization and digitizing cultural heritage materials.

  • Creating Digital Resources for the Visual Arts: Standards and Good Practice


    (May 2001)

  • The National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage(NINCH)


    NINCH is undertaking a project to review and evaluate
    current practice in the digital networking of cultural heritage resources in order to publish a Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials. NINCH has commissioned the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow, Scotland to carry out this study, which is slated to be published in fall, 2001. For more information, see:

  • The Digital Dog


    At this site you will also find articles on imaging written by Andrew Rodney (The Digital Dog) for Photo Electronic Imaging Magazine. (November 2000)

  • Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging from the Digital Library Federation (DLF) and the Research Libraries Group (RLG)

    (*This is now archived*)

    A series of essays by imaging experts addressing various aspects of planning and implementing an imaging project. (July 2000)

  • Questions to Consider Before Beginning an Image Database Project


    A guide produced by the Digital Services and Development Unit (DSD) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Introduction to Imaging


    Issues in Constructing an Image Database. An online book written by Howard Besser and Jennifer Trant. An excellent place to start to learn all about digital imaging; includes linked glossary.

  • Library of Congress American Memory Background Papers and Technical Information


    Includes links to several white papers on the creation of the American Memory digital library. An excellent source for digitization standards and policy.

  • Kodak's Digital Learning Center


    Features a multi-module courses designed to teach the principles of digital imaging. Offers online quizes to test your learning.

  • Color Technology


    FAQs that reveal the math behind the color. By Charles Poynton. (1999)

  • The International Color Consortium


    A consortium established by eight industry vendors to promote cross-platform color standards.

Metadata and Vocabulary

Vocabulary Tools and Image Description

  • Vocabularies of the Getty Research Institute


    A leader in information about art, art history and cultural heritage, Getty offers three vocabulary and authority sources:

    • Art and Architecture Thesaurus

      A comprehensive vocabulary of nearly 120,000 terms for identifying and describing objects, textural materials, images, architecture and material culture from antiquity to the present. Pertains predominantly to the Western world but extends to other cultures.

    • Union List of Artists' Names

      A database including over 200,000 entries about 100,000 artists, architects and perfomers. Includes clustered records of psuedonyms, variant spellings, and language variants.

    • The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

      A global and heirarchical representation of place names, sources, place types, goegraphic coordinates, and description.

  • Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphical Materials

    Compiled By the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Both are web-searchable.

    • TGM I - Subject Terms

      Developed to support the cataloging and retrieval needs of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, a useful resource for general collections of historical images.

    • TGM II - Genre and Physical Characteristics

      Added to control vocabulary pertaining to genre and physical characteristic of visual work, and offer another layer of indexing for the researcher to use.

  • The ICONCLASS Home Page


    A collection of ready-made definitions of objects, persons, events, situations and abstract ideas, that can be the subject of a work of art. Not a controlled vocabulary, but a heirarchical list of systematically classified definitions of subjects and themes.

Metadata Resources and Tools

  • NISO Data Dictionary for Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images


    This is a draft NISO standard. (December 2006)

  • Cataloging Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines, Revised 2006 July 11, Jay Weitz, ed.


  • IFLA (International Federation of Libraries Association) Metadata Site


  • UKOLN (United Kingdom Office of Library Networking Workshops) Metadata Resources


  • The National Information Standards Organization (NISO)


  • Visual Arts, Museums and Cultural Heritage Metadata Workshop 1997 Report


    A report from a workshop sponsored in part by the Visual Arts Data Service, a part of the Arts & Humanities Data Service a national scholarly organization in the United Kingdom.

  • Dublin Core


    The Dublin Core appears to be the front runner in the race for metadata standardization of multimedia and the web. Find out about the progress towards developing an internationally recognized set of descriptive elements that will aid in interoperablity among diverse data sets.

  • IMS Meta-Data


    The Instuctional Management Systems Project - An Educom NLII Initiative is developing a specification and software for managing online learning resources. Introduces the concept of metadata and the specifications for its use.

  • Visual Resources Association (VRA)


    The latest version of descriptive categories compiled by the Data Standards Committee of the Visual Resources Association.

  • Categories for the Description of Works of Art


    A set of distinct informational categories pertaining to art and art history constructed by the Art History Information Task Force of the Getty Research Institute

  • Museum and Cultural Heritage Information Standards Resource Guide

    (*archived site*)

    Try also: ICOM Guidelines and Standards for Museums
    A resource guide to museum and cultural heritage information standards. Links to a brochure explaining why standards are important. Getty Research Institute and the International Committee for Documentation of the International Council of Museums.

  • Museum Documentation Association (UK)


  • Resource Description Framework (RDF)


    The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a specification that was under development within the W3C Metadata activity. RDF is designed to provide an infrastructure to support metadata across many web-based activities. RDF is the result of a number of metadata communities bringing together their needs to provide a robust and flexible architecture for supporting metadata on the Internet and WWW. Example applications include sitemaps, content ratings, stream channel definitions, search engine data collection (web crawling), digital library collections, and distributed authoring.
    (Description from the Introduction to the WC3 Technology and Society Domain)

Metadata Projects and Information

  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)


  • NISO/CLIR/RLG: Technical Metadata Elements for Images Workshop Report. Washington, D.C. April 18 - 19, 1999


Data Structures

  • Web Architecture: Describing and Exchanging Data


    A World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) paper on "Semantic Web Technology", and especially the role of XML. From the abstract: "The World Wide Web is a universal information space. As a medium for human exchange, it is becoming mature, but we are just beginning to build a space where automated agents can contribute--just beginning to build the Semantic Web. The RDF Schema design [RDFSchema] and XML Schema design [XMLSchema] began independently, but we explore a common model where they fit together as interlocking pieces of the semantic web technology."

  • Digital Image Collections: Cataloging Data Model & Network Access


    This paper identifies and describes initial efforts in providing bibliographic control of image collections using SGML. This report stands as an example of the research that has taken place in the brief history of networked image access. Authored by Stephen Paul Davis, Columbia University Libraries, 6/95, for the Digital Image Access Project sponsored by RLG. (1995)

  • Electronic Text Center - Introduction to TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)


    TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange, from the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center.

  • Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Home Page


    The Text Encoding Inititative is an international project to develop guidelines for the preparation and interchange of electronic texts for scholarly research, and to satisfy a broad range of uses by the language industries more generally.

  • Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Official Web Site


    The EAD Document Type Definition (DTD) is a standard for encoding archival finding aids using the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).

  • Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI)

    The organization concluded operations in December 2003.

  • About SGML: The University of Virginia Electronic Text Center


    A resource guide of online resources explaining SGML compiled by David Seaman.

  • The SGML Web Page


    By Robin Cover. Provides links to several online projects using SGML.

  • SGML: California Heritage Digital Image Access Project


    Just one example of how SGML is used to provide access to information.


Z39.50 is an international standard that allows for communication across networked computers used for searching and retrieving information. As many libraries begin delivering web-accessible searching of their catalogs, Z39.50 is becoming an important protocol to watch when considering the integration of online digital image resources with other online library resources.

  • Library of Congress Z39.50 Maintenance Agency Homepage


    Includes links to the ANSI/NISO standards, reports, and other links related to the Z39.50 standard.

Copyright & Intellectual Property

  • Copyright and Image Management


    A current update on copyright issues as they pertain to digital images. Compiled and maintained by Georgia Harper, Office of General Counsel, University of Texas.

  • The University of Texas System Crash Course in Copyright


    Another site created by Georgia Harper, of the University of Texas. Offers tutorials and advice on how to address copyright and intellectual property issues in the digital environment. (1999)

  • Analysis of the CONFU Deliberations and Reports


    While this committee failed to meet concensus and disbanded in May 1997, the Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Digital Images is still a good starting point. Contains links to other copyright web sites. (September 1997)

  • Consortium of College and University Media Centers


    After the Committee on Fair Use (CONFU) was unable to reach consensus on appropriate guidelines, the Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC) drafted guidelines on fair use as applied to educational uses of multimedia.

  • The good, bad, ugly of copyright law rewrites


    A recent summary of current legislative approaches to updating copyright law for the digital world. (Copyright 1998 by David Loundy).

Hardware and Software

  • A Few Scanning Tips


    A helpful overview of some basic scanning questions, put together by Wayne Fulton. Also includes links to scanning manufacturers and software.

  • Digital Photography


    A practical, grass-roots web site that reviews digital cameras, digital photography equipment, and publications on the topic. Maintained by the imaging technology center at Brevard Community College in Florida. Regularly updated.

Other Resources

  • IPI Preservation Calculator


    A free collection analysis tool created by the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • ZDNet Product Reviews


  • Steve's Digicams


    A helpful and up-to-date index of digital camera reviews and news. Regularly updated.

Organizations and Committees

  • AIIM


    The Association for Information and Image Management.

  • Archives and Museum Informatics


    Consulting, Publishing and Training for Cultural Heritage Professionals.

  • Arts & Humanities Data Service


    A national organization in the United Kingdom committed to standardizing practices of digitization and access to digital items and to "collect, catalogue, manage, preserve and promote the re-use of scholarly digital resources."

  • Coalition for Networked Information


    Founded in March 1990, the Coalition operates program initiatives and projects in several areas designed to further both the state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice of using computer networks to share information pertaining to the arts, humanities, and cultural resources.The Coalition is a partnership of the Association of Research Libraries, CAUSE, and EDUCOM.

  • Commission on Preservation and Access


    "The mission of the Commission on Preservation and Access is to foster, develop, and support collaboration among libraries and allied organizations to ensure the preservation of the published and documentary record in all formats, and to provide enduring access to scholarly information."

  • Conservation OnLine


    CoOL is a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries. It is a full text library of conservation information, including digital imaging, as well as other topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives and museum materials. Regularly updated.

  • The Getty Research Institute


    "The Getty Research Institute works to enrich the content of the computer networks of the future by encouraging those concerned with preserving the cultural heritage to collaborate in building a cultural information infrastructure."

  • The International Committee for Documentation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-CIDOC)


    The international focus for the documentation interests of museums and related organizations.

  • LOOKSEE: Resources for Image Based Humanities Computing


  • Museum Computer Network


    A nonprofit organization of professionals dedicated to fostering the cultural aims of museums through the use of computer technologies.

  • Northeast Document Conservation Center


    NDCC is the largest non-profit regional facility in the United States specializing in the preservation and conservation of paper-based materials. Regularly updated.

  • Preserving Digital Information

    (PDF file)

    Executive Summary. A report submitted by the Report of the Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information commissioned by The Commission on Preservation and Access and The Research Libraries Group, Inc. 1996

  • Research in Computing for Humanities


  • Research Libraries Group


    The Research Libraries Group participates and assists in the development of solutions to the problems that research collections and their users face in the acquisition, delivery, and preservation of information.

Workshops and Conferences

RLG Events list

Past Conferences and Workshops:

Digitization for Cultural Heritage Professionals -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina May 16 - 21, 2004. Presented by The Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute,The School of Information and Library Science at UNC- Chapel Hill and Duke University's Perkins Library.

Museum Computer Network (MCN) Conferences -- past and present.

Digital Library Spring and Fall Forums -- past and present.

Digital Preservation Management Workshop -- Cornell University.

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries -- Denver, Colorado, June 7 - 11, 2005

Past RLG Events

Museums and the Web: An International Conference for Culture and Heritage On-line -- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 13 - 16, 2005.

Do you have an Imaging or Metadata event to add? Contact us.

Researchers and Colleagues

Howard Besser - A man we refer to as the "Imaging Guru." An important figure in the digital imaging profession, Dr. Bessar has been actively involved in researching imaging standards, use of images in the humanities, and access standards for imaging projects.

Michael Lesk's Grade Crossing on the Information Superhighway - Links to many of his papers about library preservation, information retrieval, digital libraries, and networks.

P.Bryan Heidorn - Bryan is a professor here at the University of Illinois at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. From his homepage, you can view the work of some of his students on various image projects. Also, check out his Hot List page for frequently used links pertaining to content based retrieval as well as a host of other digital library related topics (and some completely unrelated ones).

If you are an academic professional and/or involved in digital imaging for the arts and humanities, have a webpage, and would like to be included on this list, contact us.

Imaging Programs


    (website) The Art Museum Image Consortium.

  • ArtServe


    An Image Database containing 27,000 images. ANU provides a unified framework for several image datbases and web pages pertaining to Art and Architecture. Includes a search engine to search in all connected pages. Updated February (2000).

  • California Heritage Collection (The Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley)


  • Clearinghouse of Image Databases

    -- (website)

    A good place to find out what other institutions are doing. Maintained by the University of Arizona Library.

  • Cornell Institute for Digital Collections


    Cornell University.

  • Digital Image Center


    University of Virginia.

  • Digital Library SunSITE


    University of California - Berkley

  • The Digital Scriptorium


    Rare Books, Manuscripts and Special Collections Library at Duke University. Includes digitized collections as well as EAD finding aids.

  • Exploring Image Collections on the Internet


    Resources at MIT (Rotch Visual Collections). This site provides a overview of resources for images (includes images pertaining to archaeology, architecture and art to urban design). Gives a summary of purposes of image database delivery on the web and links to a variety of imaging projects on the internet. (1996).

  • Indiana University Digital Library Program


    Last updated March 29, 2000.

  • Library of Congress' American Memory


  • National Gallery of Art


  • Perseus Project


  • Sargent at Harvard


  • Special Collections Digital Center at the University of Virginia Library


  • The Thinker


    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum


  • Visual Information Access (VIA) at Harvard University


    An ongoing project, the VIA is a catalog of visual resources at both Harvard University and Radcliffe College.

Like to add a link to your Image project here? Please let us know.

E-text resources

Bibliographies and Other Lists of Web Resources

  • Current Cites


  • Definition and Purposes of a Digital Library

    (Text File)


  • Selected Resources on Digital Imaging for Libraries & Archives

    (PDF file)

    SOLINET Preservation Services October 1996 (Revised 1/10/2000)

  • ADAM - The Art and Design Information Gateway

    Now: Intute, Arts & Humanities

E-journals & other resources

Electronic Journals

  • D-Lib Magazine


    Monthly articles, commentary, and briefings and a collection of resources for digital library research. Visit "D-Lib Magazine This Month" for new material; visit "D-Lib Ready Reference" for pointers to projects and collections concerning digital library research.

  • RLG DigiNews


    RLG DigiNews is a quarterly web-based newsletter with a focus on issues of digital initiative with a basis in preservation.

General Literature

  • Digital Image Collections


    Cataloging Data Model & Network Access by Stephen Paul Davis, Columbia University Libraries, 6/95. Efforts to begin creating the national digital library--a concept that encompasses archival collections, texts, images, sound files, full-motion video, composite documents, and other document types--have led quickly to the need for new approaches to the bibliographic control of such items, at both the local and national level. (1995)

  • Arts and Humanities Data Service: A Strategic Policy Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Collections


    "The study presents thirteen recommendations in the areas of long-term digital preservation, standards, the policy framework, and future research. Six case studies highlight some of the real-life considerations concerning digital preservation. At a time when content providers and libraries are racing headlong toward digitization of information resources, this study provides critical guidance." Scout Report, Volume 5, Number 2, 8 May 1998 [Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-1999. (website) ]

Newsgroups & Listservs

  • The Clearinghouse of Image Databases and IMAGELIB listserv archives


    A large listing of academic digital imaging projects. The listserv is a must-see for imaging librarians. Maintained at the University of Arizonal Library.

  • Discussion List on Image-Based Humanities Computing: LOOKSEE


  • AAT-L

    A list for users of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus. To subscribe email, with this text: sub AAT-L firstname lastname.

  • META2

    The primary mailing list forum for the discussion of Dublin Core issues. To subscribe, send a message to with a body of: subscribe meta2 your-name-here.

Many of the organizations listed above also have listservs.