This policy governs the activities of the Fine Arts Library Image Collection, a unit of the Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library. This policy only applies to the acquisition of fine arts images.

The Image Collection provides visual resources of fine arts material to students and faculty throughout the University of Pennsylvania in support of their teaching and research needs. The primary users of the collection include the Department of the History of Art; the Graduate School of Fine Arts comprised of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Fine Arts, Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Real Estate; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and the College of General Studies.

For an in-depth description of these programs please consult the Program Information section of the collection development policy for Architecture and City Planning.

The Image Collection is located in the basement of the Fine Arts Library. The collection houses over 500,000 35mm slides filed according to the Fogg Classification Scheme. Approximately 200,000 slides are cataloged in MARC format and are searchable online. The catalog also contains 100,000 digital images in Mr. Sid, allowing pan and zoom capabilities, and JPEG format.

Mounted photographs and lantern slides are located in LIBRA.

The Image Collection acquires material in the following ways:

  • In-house creation - Most of the 35mm slides and digital images are generated in-house via copystand photography and slide scanning.
  • Purchase/License - Slides and digital images are actively purchased or licensed from suppliers such as Saskia, ACSAA, University of Michigan, Walter Denny and other sources and museums as needed.
  • Donation - Donated collections are accepted when the material is relevant and beneficial to the collection, and when the donor agrees to the terms specified in our deed of gift. The Library's policies pertaining to donated material may be found here.
  • Image Databases - The Library subscribes to appropriate web based image databases and purchases image files in other media in an effort to serve the University by supplementing local collections. Such databases and files include:

The acquisition of new material is supported by three funds:

  • Supply Fund - used for the purchasing of film and mounts for slides produced in-house
  • Slide Acquisition Fund - used for the purchasing of commercially available slides
  • Digital Image Fund - used for the licensing of commercially available digital images

Selection Responsibility

Selection responsibility lies with the Fine Arts Image Curator. Faculty and students may request slides or digital images to be made or purchased for lecture display or review.

Selection Criteria

Fine arts images that support the University's teaching and research needs are added to collection.

Collecting begins with prehistoric art and architecture and continues through art and architecture of the present day.

Subject Level
Maps 2
Landscape Architecture 3
City Planning 3
Architecture 3
Sculpture 3
Painting 3
Drawing 3
Minor/Other Arts 3
Furniture 3
Manuscripts 3
Photography 3
Prints 3
Contemporary Arts 3
Texts 2
Arts of the United States 2
Ethnography 2

When slides are lost or damaged, faculty and students may request a replacement.

The Image Curator may choose to deaccession slides. Such instances include:

  • damaged slides
  • deteriorated slides
  • slides depicting material outside the realm of fine arts as defined by the Fine Arts Library

Technical Applications

  • Slides: Slides are photographed on Kodak Ektachrome 64T film using a Nikon F3 camera with a 1-2.8 Nikon lens.
  • Digital Images: Slides are scanned using a Nikon Cool Scan IV slide scanner. The resulting scans are saved as 18 MB Tiff files and kept for archival purposes. Mr. Sid image files are generated from the master Tiff files for the purpose of web display and user customization.
  • Catalog: Voyager software is used for cataloging slides and digital images in MARC format.
  • Web Presentation: DLXS is the catalogs web interface. DLXS accommodates Mr. Sid images, thumbnail display, and multiple collection searching.

As preferred image formats continuously change from the mounted image to the lantern slide to the 35mm slide to the digital image it is essential for the Image Collection to stay abreast of current trends in technology and pedagogy. In pursuit of this goal, the Image Collection maintains relationships with a variety of facilities and organizations. Within the Penn Library, we maintain communication and shared efforts with Library Systems, the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI), and the South Asia Image Collection. Outside of Penn, we monitor relevant work and progress by groups such as the Visual Resources Association.