Visual Media Resources

The BGC’s Visual Media Resources Department (VMR) maintains the teaching collection of digital images and slides, while also actively building, in collaboration with Bard College's Visual Resources department, 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 digital images for presentations, papers, and projects.

About the BGC Image Collections
About the VMR: Hours, Locations, and Staff
VMR Equipment and Software
VMR Training, Support, and Tutorials
Image Resources
Copyright Information
Image Request Form / Digitization Services for Faculty


The Image Collections

The BGC's Visual Media Resources 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 of approximately 22,000 images is fully integrated into the ARTstor digital library through our subscription to ARTstor’s Shared Shelf. In addition to the BGC’s institutional collections, with its particular focus on the decorative arts and material culture, Bard College’s art historically oriented collection, with more than 34,000 images, is also available to students and faculty within Shared Shelf. In development are other Shared Shelf-accessible BGC image collections including the Exhibition, Institutional Photographs, and Library Ephemera collections.

The BGC’s slide collection, housed outside the VMR's public space, currently numbers 50,000 slides. It reflects the teaching interests of the BGC's faculty from its earliest days to the recent past, and as such has become a near-comprehensive overview of the decorative arts, spanning time, geography and medium. This collection is made available to faculty to facilitate their teaching, and the VMR continues to support it. 

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, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Barbara Elam is the Visual Media Resources Librarian and can be contacted by phone at 212.501.3085 or by email at

Mike Satalof is the Digital Archiving Specialist and can be contacted by phone at 212.501.3084 or by email at

Equipment and Software

Visual Media Resources houses, and in some cases distributes, various equipment requisite to the production of digital and analog media. If you require training with any of the equipment or software listed below, please see a VMR staff member to schedule an appointment. If you experience problems with any VMR workstation, contact a VMR staff member or email

The following computing equipment is available:


  • 2 24” Apple iMacs running OSX10.8.4
  • 1 Dell Studio XPS, with 24” screen, running Windows Vista
  • 1 Epson 10000 XL Large Format Scanner
  • 2 Epson Epson V700 Pro Letter Sized Scanners
  • 1 Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 Slide Film Scanner


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


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Bridge
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Acrobat X Pro
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Excel
  • 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 

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.

  • 1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Digital Camera

This camera has a 14-megapixel sensor and a 16x optical zoom wide angle Leica lense, and it captures hi-definition video. The VMR supplies an 8 gb SD card but students can make use of their own if they require additional storage.

  • 2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Digital Camera

These cameras have a 10-megapixel sensor and a 12x optical zoom 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

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.