Escutcheon Columbia University Libraries Digital Program

Columbia Image Bank

          Path: Digital Library Projects  :  Columbia Image Bank / ARTstor Hosting

(Sept. 2009)  Columbia Image Bank Now Available Through ARTstor.   The Columbia Image Bank -- which has been available through our local Luna Insight System for the past several years -- is now accessible as a hosted collection in ARTstor ( Columbia users are now able to search the Image Bank either as a separate ARTstor collection or in combination with ARTstor's complete collections, which currently include more than one million images.

Columbia Image Bank consists of some 66,000 art and architecture images, about half licensed for Columbia use from the vendor Saskia, Ltd., and half from teaching and research collections created by Columbia's Visual Media Center ( The Visual Media Center will continue to add content to our hosted ARTstor collection on a quarterly basis.

To search Columbia Image Bank separately in ARTstor, click "Go" in the upper right-hand corner on the ARTstor homepage, then select "Columbia University Image Bank" from the search drop-down menu. If "Columbia University Image Bank" is not selected, the search defaults to "All Collections" which retrieves results from both Columbia's hosted collections and the full ARTstor database.

(October 2005) Columbia Visual Media Center Content Added.  Approximately 1900 still images and 126 Quicktime VR animations have been contributed to the Columbia Image Bank by the Visual Media Center (in the Art History Dept.) Among the images are over 400 of Le Corbusier buildings, as well as architectural photographs of buildings by Claude Ledoux, Daniel Libeskind, Paul Rudolph, Luigi Moretti and others. Other highlights include several hundred images and QTVR animations of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Much of the new content consists of original digital photographs by Columbia Art History faculty and graduate students.

(Sept 2005) New Saskia Content Added. Some 2400 new art images and architectural photographs were added to Columbia Image Bank.   This new content includes a large number of photographs of Indian (subscontinent) temples as well as many Pre-Columbian, Native American and Spanish Colonial architectural sites. (See complete list.)

(June 2004) Launch of Columbia Image Bank. The Libraries Digital Program announced the preliminary launch of the Columbia Image Bank and the availability of its first collection, History of Art and Architecture.  Columbia Image Bank's underlying technology is Luna Imaging's widely-used Insight™ software, which provides a highly functional system that has been optimized for image retrieval, display and classroom use.

The History of Art and Architecture collection is based initially on a set of 27,000 high resolution art images permanently licensed from Saskia Ltd, a major art image image provider, for use by the Columbia community. These images are from many of the world's most important art collections, including Louvre, Musée D'Orsay, Uffizi Palace, and the Prado, as well as from many important archaeological sites such as Ephesus, Pergamum and Mycenae.

In fall 2004, the History of Art and Architecture collection will grow through the contribution of images scanned and cataloged by Columbia's Visual Media Center (in the Art History Department) and other campus sources. This approach will enable the collection to evolve over time with targeted content based on current and anticipated curricular needs.  Support for using advanced features of Luna Insight™ with the History of Art and Architecture collection will be provided chiefly by the Visual Media Center. (For more information contact Robert Carlucci, Library public services staff will provide guidance to users in basic search and retrieval functionality and in understanding the scope and nature of its content.

In addition to the History of Art and Architecture collection, we have arranged for access to a variety of other remote image collections that are made available via the Luna Insight™ interface, including the AMICO Library.

Later in 2004, the Libraries will begin to load some of Columbia's own unique and special collections into the Columbia Image Bank, including digital reproductions of images from the Libraries Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Collections, Columbia's Papyrological Collection, images from the Joseph Urban Theater Collection and others.  

As part of this effort, we also plan to implement Luna Insight™'s new "XML Gateway" product this fall in order to provide additional context for and better integration of Image Bank collections with the broader scholarly and digital library environment.

The implementation of Columbia Image Bank has been done by the Libraries Digital Program Division in close cooperation with Academic Computing.  Planning was also done by the Information Services' Visual Resources Working Group which includes staff from AcIS, CCNTML, Bibliographic Control, and the Libraries Digital Program.

At present, the priorities for adding new content and functionality to Columbia Image Bank are based chiefly on the needs of Libraries to manage and provide better access to its growing digital image collections.  In the future, we hope also be able to support non-library collections of importance from other campus departments.


Link to LWEB Connect Screen

LWEB E-Images Page

LWEB Databases / Images List



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Last revision: 02/25/15
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