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October 25, 2011

Resource offers variety of images for presentations

1700s painting of people around model of solar system
“A Philosopher giving a Lecture on the Orrery” (1766), by Joseph Wright of Derby, depicts a demonstration of a heliocentric model of the solar system. It is one of the images available in the Visual Resource Collection.

Need to add some visual interest to your lecture, presentation, or paper? The Visual Resource Collection contains more than 30,000 digital images and more than 125,000 slides for educational use by faculty and students. In addition to art from a wide range of periods and cultures, the collection includes vintage advertisements, historical photography, maps, and images related to design, architecture, fashion, and local history.

“The digital images and slides represent years of accumulated student and faculty requests,” says Kim Kopatz, curator of the collection, though she notes that she and image technician Irma Abu-Jumah need about three weeks to find and license new materials. Kopatz has curated the collection since 1987. “It’s amazing to see the diversity of faculty and students’ academic interests,” she says.

According to Kopatz, “everyone is potentially a user.” She emphasized that although many users of the collection are art history students, she has helped Rochester students and faculty with presentations, web projects, papers, and lectures in psychology, anthropology, history, English, modern languages and cultures, and music.

Administered by the Department of Art and Art History, the collection is located on the ground floor of Rush Rhees Library, within the Art and Music Library. There are computers available for viewing images, as well as editing software to help integrate them into presentations and documents. Both digital images and slides are searchable via the website, though some slides may not include a preview image on the web. Images are scanned at a high resolution and are resized for projection or inclusion in a paper.

Contact Kopatz at for information about requests, usage restrictions, or for help finding images for a particular project. View the collection at (net ID required).

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