About The Urban Landscape Digital Image Access Project
The Urban Landscape Digital Image Access Project is a database of images from various collections held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. The database contains 1000 images pertaining to the theme "The Urban Landscape," from fourteen different collections.
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In the spring of 1993 the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library (RMBSCL) responded to a Request for Proposal issued by the former Research Libraries Group (now RLG Programs within OCLC) for a "Digital Image Access Project" (DIAP). This project had three objectives:
- Explore access and description issues for digital photographic images
- Explore intellectual control as well as collections and resource management issues
- Develop guidelines and models that will assist research institutions in developing local imaging projects.
Responding institutions were asked to propose approximately 1000 photographs from their collections focused on the broad theme of "The Urban Landscape," which would be digitized by Stokes Imaging of Austin, Texas. Participants would work with each other and with staff at Stokes to develop common data elements and a software system to describe, store, retrieve, and display the digital images.
Institutions selected for participation in this project included:
- The Amon Carter Museum, using images from the Karl Struss archive focusing on photographs taken in New York City between 1908 and 1917.
- The Avery Library at Columbia University, using images from the Empire State Building archive, photographs from several Columbia faculty members, including sociologist Camilo Vergara's "New American Ghetto," images of the cathedral at Amiens, and architectural drawings from the AVIADOR project.
- The Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, using images focusing on cities and towns of the Southeast, documentary photography, and architectural picture postcards.
- The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (now the Getty Research Institute), using images from the Max Hutzel survey of regional Italian architecture.
- The Francis Loeb Library of Harvard's Graduate School of Design, using images from the library's city planning collections.
- The New York Public Library, using master photographs from the Ramona Javitz collections, including urban subjects taken by Dorothea Lange, Bernice Abbott, Walker Evans, and Lewis Hine.
- Northwestern University, using images from a collection documenting the destruction of Paris during the siege and Commune of 1870-1871.
- The University of California at Berkeley, using images from a variety of collections depicting San Francisco from the 1850s through the 1920s.
- The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, contributing images from its Civil War and Jack Delano collections.