Welcome to the VRC

Welcome back to a new semester here at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. This semester’s focus will be images and how to find them, how to use images in presentations and papers, formatting images, how to finesse powerpoints, and prezis. We will also post beautiful pictures of architecture, public spaces, smart growth, and historic preservation, along with some not so beautiful pictures as well.

Keep in mind that here at the school, you have access to an archive of slides, many of which are already digitized, and many of which are copyright accessible. They were taken by a traveling student or faculty member and can be used by students for presentations and papers under the Fair Use portion of copyright law.

Other sources of images include the world wide web, and I will be explaining how to focus your search so you don’t end up with thousands of google images to sort through. In fact this website “How to Use Google Search More Effectively” will get you started with that. Lastly, the University has a subscription to various image databases, including Artstor, where I will be uploading archival materials from the School’s collection of architecture, planning and preservation images. Like this one, for example:

Portland Place, London


Or maybe you would like this one:

Burano, Italy; Pink House


What should I do with my old slides?

Here in the Visual Resources Collection we are taking an inventory of everything in the room.

We have LCD projectors, slide projectors, cameras, video cameras, light sets, some books and travel guides; even film cameras of the Nikon variety.

However, the slides, slides, slides, are what I have in the most quantity.  Now, slides are small, so it takes alot of them to take up any amount of space – we have at least 265 drawers full of slides. As part of the stocktaking, the Graduate Assistants are looking at boxes of slides, drawers of slides, scans of slides. We have your pink variety, your purply-orange variety, your overexposed and your really dark variety.  Then there are the fabulously colored Fujichrome and Kodachrome slides of trips from around the world that our professors and students have shared with us over the years.  Records of moments in time, a particularly sunny day, a freshly painted facade, a brand new structure or a really old structure.  Images that document not only an architecture, but a city, a style of car or hairdo, caught on the film chip.

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

The challenge for me and my student assistants is to decide what stays and what goes.  What is relevant to the School’s mission, and what is just taking up space. Is this slide primary source material or outdated copywork from a book that has been re-issued and updated umpteen times since that slide was taken? For slides that are going to go, here is a beautiful and useful project: Curtains. Or maybe a handbag would be nice.

I plan to post more lovely pictures as we continue with the collection assessment.