Changing Light: a plethora of digital tools as slides gasp their last?

October 28, 2011

As requested, I am sharing details about the paper ‘Changing Light: a plethora of digital tools as slides gasp their last?’ that is now available online, which may be of interest to ACADI members.

Last Autumn, Marie-Therese Gramstadt undertook a ‘Slide Stats’ survey using the ARLIS-LINK and ACADI JISCMail lists, further information about the survey is available here: The death of slides? ACADI members were extremely generous with their time and contribution, and some of their responses have been incorporated into the ‘Changing Light’ paper.


the Wishlist

January 21, 2011

ARLIS/UK & Ireland

Digitisation of Artistic Works wish list

We would like digitised images to be licensed for educational use & for instruction for use within educational establishments , and for use  by members of licensed institutions engaged in educational work outside their institution.

We would like the licence to permit the following uses

Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)

Allow use of images in the subscribing institution’s VLE.

Face to face teaching is routinely supplemented by VLEs & there is a need for VLEs to encompass artistic works. VLEs are secure networks & password protected.


Allow use of images in Powerpoint presentations both by lecturers for teaching purposes & by students for presentations.

Allow use of images in Powerpoint presentations at public conferences/and lectures if for educational purposes.

Projection of digital images.

Allow projection of images in a lecture or seminar.

Allow projection of image as part of an art work for student project  work.

Sharing and distribution

Allow the loan of disks or portable storage medium containing digitised images for distribution between registered students lecturers & library staff.

Allow the inclusion of digital images in word processed documents for distribution between registered students lecturers & library staff.

Student coursework

Allow use of digital images by students for project /studio work. With notice/proviso  “images may not be published, or manipulated in any way & must be properly referenced in a student’s work”.

(Scanning )Any provision in the licence for the of use of scanners in libraries should preferably accord to the same rules governing its use, as in the CLA printed license.

Many photocopiers used in libraries are digital and thus already scan the work being copied.

Student use

Allow students to use the digitised images in their essays and unpublished dissertations, both undergraduate and postgraduate and in any other course work.

Teaching materials

Allow staff to use digital images in multiple hand-outs to students

Library uses

Allow digital images to be used for internal publicity purposes e.g. to put on library notice board to show new additions to the image database or slide collection.

Allow Thumbnail images to be added to digital slide catalogues.

These thumbnails would be attached to the relevant text record in the database. Thumbnails would be restricted to users of the secure network of the Institution.

We would like the licence to permit creation of digital images in the following ways

Digitise the slides in existing slide collections. As well as slides made from books and journals under the existing DACS licence, some of these slides will be original material i.e. slides photographed at students shows or slides donated by artists to libraries.

Existing slide collections also contain slide purchases from CASS, Courtauld, other commercial suppliers etc.  It would be good if the licence could cover the large number of slides which we have acquired from these sources.

Digitise images from published materials eg books & journals and exhibition catalogues.

Other potential sources for digital images that we would like to be licensed to scan or download or copy are: photographs, electronic and internet sources (CD-Rom, websites, e-books, e-journals).

Libraries would create records for each digital image in a central database as follows

Each image to be related to a text record recording its attributes to a level of VRA Core Categories 3 or 4 (forming an image database)

Image Quality

Images to be of sufficient quality for projection in classroom /lecture theatre, with provision for extending this to fit with increasing data projector resolutions as allowed under the Museums licence.

viz. 1280 pixels on long side at 72dpi) Zoom-in permitted – 3000 pixels on long side. Watermarks not required.

We need the licence to allow storage, access and portability of the images as follows

Central storage of digital images by the library, access and portability.

Allow the inclusion of licensed images  in a secure intranet database with authenticated users.

Allow the storage of back-up copies of images to secure the data.

Allow the retrieval of any images by staff and students from the digital store (as above) via a search mechanism.

Allow the transfer of digital images from the digital store (above) by staff and students to disk or other portable storage medium or via email

Individual (non librarian) scanning –portability and storage – this is potentially problematic because it would be unpoliced…..(jenny).

Allow scans from books and journals and other published materials to be stored on portable storage media such as memory sticks and discs by staff and students of licensed institutions.

Allow scans of slides from the slide collection to be stored on portable storage media such as memory sticks and discs by staff and students of licensed institutions.

We would like the licence to have the following scope

As wide a range of ‘works’ as possible to be included in the licence, including product design, which is not included in the Museums licence.

Administration matters

We would envisage the cost being calculated either by ‘per image used’ or in bandings similar to Slide Licence.

The £5:00 per image Museums Licence figure is too high for most users.

We would want the subscribing institution to be licensed to store licensed  images on a database in perpetuity.

We would seek minimum paperwork on similar lines to Slides Licence.

A blanket licence would be ideal.

The use of images should not be linked to a particular cohort of students.

Images should be for all staff and students whenever they need them

Rights Clearance
The image licence should include clearance of all rights eg both the artist’s and the photographer of the artwork.


For use by all, i.e. public use (internal/external use).

Use of thumbnails in publicly available version of database mounted on web, as is the case with book catalogues.

We can see that rights-holders would be nervous about the following

Put on website

Plus two of the requests above are potential problems for DACS viz

(from above) “sharing and distribution”. Allow the loan of disks or portable storage medium containing digitised images for distribution between registered students lecturers & library staff.

(from above) “individual (non librarian) scanning –portability and storage”.

Allow scans from books and journals and other published materials to be stored on portable storage media such as memory sticks and discs by staff and students of licensed institutions.

Allow scans of slides from the slide collection to be stored on portable storage media such as memory sticks and discs by staff and students of licensed institutions

      Edit by jenny godfrey


      Comments received from academic staff, across two Universities, to whom above list was circulated

      “Definitely – it would be very useful!”

      “This looks OK to me.  I think it would be good if this could be legalised, as we all know it is going on!!”

      “This is so desperately needed. I have spent many hours trawling the internet for relevant images and if we had a database which is current and up to date it would be very helpful.”

      ”It is absolutely essential that there is a blanket licence for each institution.  We are not at all interested in the sort of licence that exists at present for Slide Collections, where every slide is recorded.  This must cover all departments in the university, science and humanities.  It will probably be based on the number of students in the university.  Anything else is ‘Mickey Mouse”

      ACADI news December 2010

      December 15, 2010

      Responses to the DACS draft licence from ACADI members will be forwarded to a representative of UUK for consideration at the next stage of the discussions.

      ACADI aim to be represented at a proposed Copyseek seminar to discuss the UUK/CLA licence negotiations. The CLA’s provision for scanning images is of vital importance to institutions represented by ACADI members.

      Members offered their opinions on the merits of various image resources for textile design students, particularly in relation to trend-forecasting. There were recommendations for Stylesight and WGSN subscription databases, Trend Union books and forecasting magazines e.g. Bloom, Textile View.

      Another question “ Is there an equivalent to AXIS in the Fashion and Textile Design world where you can look up designers and design studios and read about and/or see examples of their work?” is still to be answered.

      Library Thing is a  the book-community and personal cataloguing website. It provides a feature to members where links to images of some book jackets may be utilised on their own websites. This is a useful tool but it would be wise to consider the implications in relation to UK copyright legislation

      Copyright legislation was also considered in relation to illustrations for feature film DVD cases and promotional film posters.

      Marie-Therese Gramstadt recently asked members to participate in a survey about the current state of slide libraries in educational institutions. The survey results form part of her extended research project, recently presented to CHArt. Read more about Marie-Therese’s research on her blog:
      and in the Ariadne article  Locating Image Presentation Technology within Pedagogic Practice

      ACADI member Jamie Carstairs conducted a survey of ACADIans in 2009, on behalf of the University of Bristol’s History of Art department. His goal was to discover how similar departments have approached the transition to digitised images and/or online sources. The report contains some useful arguments for retaining slide collections. It includes examples of the varied approaches to digitisation projects across the country.


      AXIS  (online resource for UK contemporary art)
      CHArt  Computers and the History of Art
      CLA  The Copyright Licensing Agency (licences for educational use of published information)
      DACS  Design and Artists Copyright Society (a visual arts rights management organisation)
      UUK  Universities UK (the representative organisation for the UK’s universities).


      Recent ACADI discussion topics

      November 3, 2009

      E6 processing Labs that process colour slide (transparency) film are becoming harder to find. ACADI members recommend labs offering  good service and value for money.

      Image databases for art and design Opinions from ACADI members about how subscription image banks such as ArtSTOR, Bridgeman Education and Education Image Gallery compare in terms of cost, coverage and image quality. A list of current image database subscriptions from ACADI members’ institutions was distributed to the list.

      Image management software A table has been compiled listsing the systems used by ACADI members to manage their image collections. Both database and user delivery applications are detailed, together with the metadata standards used in the projects.

      Art and Design students’ questions about copyright. Various points of view were offered about how legislation and licences could apply to the incorporation of newspaper cuttings and other copyrighted material in collaged artworks.

      Courtauld Image Collections Public access the image archives will be  reduced as cost-cutting measure. The Witt Library, Conway Library and Photographic Survey will restrict opening  to one day a week from September. There are concerns that the archives will not be able to sustain systematic image collection .

      Petition to DACS for a Digital Image Licence

      May 27, 2009

      Members of ACADI petitioned DACS (The Design and Artists Copyright Society) on 5th March 2009 to explain our pressing need for a licence for the creation of digital images for use in the cultural and higher education sectors. Negotiations to secure such a licence have been ongoing for several years but to date no agreement has been reached.
      ACADI members seek to provide high calibre, copyright cleared images and metadata for educational purposes. A digital image licence would allow image curators to provide images in the formats needed to be compatible with twenty-first century learning environments.
      The failure to reach agreement and offer such a licence has left image curators powerless to provide the resources that are needed for use in education. The result is that UK institutions have been left behind as others throughout the world forge ahead in developing searchable image databases to support educational needs. DACS have since assured ACADI that such a licence is a priority for DACS and that rapid progress will be made towards the launch of a suitable licence. We await further news.

      Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning

      September 18, 2008

      Nicky Ransom, Visual Resource Manager at the University of Reading has been working on a web site area about using digital images. Lots of really useful answers to key questsions: