Visual Media Resources

The BGC’s Visual Media Resources Department (VMR) maintains the teaching collection of slides while also actively building, in collaboration with the Visual Resources Department at Bard College, a collection of digital images that are made available to faculty and students via ARTstor's Shared Shelf. It also provides equipment, training, and support for students, faculty, and alumni wishing to produce their own slides or digital images for presentations, papers and projects.

The Image Collections

Hours, Location, and Staff

Equipment and Software

Training, Support, and Tutorials

Images for Faculty

Copyright Information


The Image Collections

The BGC’s image collections currently number 50,000 slides and 17,000 digital images. The slide collection is a near-comprehensive overview of the decorative arts, spanning time, geography and medium, and is made available to faculty to facilitate their teaching. The digital collection, which is in a state of constant and continual growth, represents a broad survey of the decorative arts and material culture, with deeper coverage in certain periods, materials or regions, as dictated by faculty interests. This collection is available to both faculty and students, and can be accessed through MDID. In addition to the BGC’s institutional collection, with its particular focus on the decorative arts and material culture, Bard College’s art historically oriented collection, with more than 27,000 images, is also available to students and faculty within MDID.

Hours, Location, and Staff

Visual Media Resources is located on the third floor of 38 West 86th Street.

Its public facilities are accessible any time the building is open, generally Monday through Thursday 8:15 am to 10:45 pm and Friday through Sunday 8:15 am to 9:45 pm. Staff is available to answer questions and offer training Monday through Thursday from 9am to 7pm, and Fridays from 9am to 5pm. 

Barbara Elam is the Senior Coordinator and can be contacted by phone at 212.501.3085 or by email at

Terrance D’Ambrosio is the Assistant Coordinator and can be contacted by phone at 212.501.3084 or by email at

Equipment and Software

VMR houses, and in some cases distributes, a variety of equipment requisite to the production of digital and analog media. If you require training with any of the following, please see a VMR staff member to schedule an appointment. If you experience problems with any of the following contact a VMR staff member or email

The following computing equipment is available:

  • 2 24” Apple iMacs running OSX10.6 and Windows XP via BootCamp
  • 1 Dell Studio XPS, with 24” screen, running Windows Vista
  • 1 Microtek 9800 XL Large Format Scanner
  • 1 Epson V700 Pro Letter Sized Scanner
  • 1 Epson 3170 Photo Letter Sized Scanner
  • 1 Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 Slide Film Scanner


The above computers have some or all of the following software:

  • Adobe Creative Suite 4, including:
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • Indesign
    • Bridge
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • Microsoft Office 2008 (mac) or 2007 (pc), including:
    • Word
    • PowerPoint
    • Excel
  • Apple iMovie
  • Olympus DSS Player
  • ARTstor Offline Image Viewer


The VMR also has a Viewing Station with the following:

  • 19” Toshiba LCD television
  • Phillips Region Free DVD Player
  • Toshiba VCR
  • Canon Microfilm and –fiche Reader
  • Dell Computer running Windows XP and with the following software:


The VMR makes available the following specialized equipment for use off-site (to check any of these out please contact a VMR staff member):


  • 1 Olympus Digital Voice Recorder

This recorder captures audio in DSS and WMA formats. All student workstations have Olympus’ DSS Player software and the PC has an audio transcription kit with a foot pedal to facilitate in the transcription of speech.

  • 2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Digital Cameras

These cameras have a 10-megapixel sensor, a 12x optical zoom, a wide angle Leica lense, and capture hi-definition video. The VMR supplies 4 gb SD cards but students can make use of their own if they require additional storage.

  • 2 Nikon FM2 SLR  35-mm Cameras

Students are required to supply their own film when using these cameras.


The VMR continues to support the production of slides by interested students and faculty, and to this end makes available a copy stand, light tables, mounting equipment, and slide carousels. Individuals may check out one of the VMR’s cameras for use with the copy stand, or supply their own. Please be aware that some classrooms at the BGC (and a growing number of institutions across the country) no longer support the use of slides for presentations.

Training, Support, and Tutorials

One of the VMR’s roles within the BGC is to offer training and guidance in the use of equipment and software involved in the creation of analog and digital media. The staff is available during office hours to answer questions and offer advice, but if you require in-depth training contact a staff member in advance to schedule an appointment. Note that the knowledge of the staff extends only to equipment and software made available within the VMR. It should also be kept in mind that VMR employees do not function as the BGC’s technology support staff; if you have questions or problems that fall outside the purview of the department please email

Images for Faculty

The VMR is actively interested in expanding its digital image collection to fully cover the range of materials taught at the BGC and encourages all faculty to make use of its digitization services. To place an image order, faculty should bring their material (we are able to scan books, slides, photographs, prints, etc) to a VMR staff member. Book pages should be clearly marked, and all materials should be accompanied by an Image Order Form [PDF] listing the date of the request, the date needed, the total number of images in the request, and the book title, page, plate, or figure numbers if applicable.

Copyright Information

The majority of the use of copyrighted material that takes place at the BGC falls within the category of fair use—meaning that it requires neither permission from nor payment to the rights holder—because it is functioning in a closed, strictly educational, non-commercial forum. This is true of papers, unpublished theses, and presentations in classrooms. Any individuals interested in scholarly activities that extend beyond these confines and requiring the inclusion of potentially copyrighted material (i.e. images) should familiarize themselves with the complexities of United States Copyright Law. The VMR has assembled the following list of external resources to aid members of the BGC community in educating themselves on the subject.

General Copyright Resources:

the U.S. Copyright Office's definition of "fair use"

a comprehensive (and excellent) site about copyright and fair use, made available by Stanford

another comprehensive (and excellent) site about copyright and fair use, this one made available by Columbia

an inelegant but informational copyright tutorial, made available by UT Austin

an extremely thorough table useful for determining whether a work is under copyright or in the public domain, made available by Cornell

a checklist for evauluating whether or not your use is "fair", made available by Cornell

the manual "Copyright Law and Graduate Research" (highly recommended), written by Kenneth D. Crews and made availble through ProQuest

Image Copyright Resources:

a variety of resources, including guidelines, essays, news articles and more, relating to image copyright, made available by the Visual Resources Association

the Digital Image Rights Computator (DIRC), also made available by the Visual Resources Association

a number of links to sites about image and art copyright, made available by Columbia

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Enlarge image

The Graces in a High Wind. - A Scene Taken from Nature, in Kensington Garden; 1810; 23.3 x 32.1 cm; James Gillray (British, 1757-1815); etching and aquatint with hand coloring; British Museum,1868,0808.7943.


This image, and 17,000 others, are available to students, faculty, and staff of the BGC through MDID.