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A hand holding a slideFor decades, art students were introduced to famous artwork through in-class slide presentations. Slides are small squares of color film suspended in a cardboard frame. Professors could build an entire slide show for a class by inserting individual slides into cartridges or carousels (pictured right). It was a fairly common practice for a college or university art department to have a shared “slide library.” Professors could borrow certain slides to build their in-class presentations and then return them when they were no longer needed. Slides in the library were purchased from commercial publishers and supplemented with slides that professors had created from their personal photographs.

With the advent of digital technology, manually building slide collections is quickly becoming a thing of the past. In 2003, the Furman Art Department slowly began transitioning to PowerPoint slide presentations utilizing artwork found online. However, it became clear that the Department’s art slide library contained some unique and one-of-a-kind artwork not available from other sources. The Art Department began a massive project to scan all 16,000+ slides in their slide library. The effort took a few years, finishing right around the time that Furman purchased LUNA, its first digital repository software in 2007. In fact, the “Art Department Slide Library” was the first collection to be uploaded into LUNA.

In the intervening years, subscription databases (such as Artstor) have attempted to provide a comprehensive selection of online art for professors to show in class. As a result, the use of the Furman Art Department Slide Library digital collection has decreased dramatically.

Over the past 2 years, the Digital Collections Center has undertaken a project to migrate the collection from LUNA to the new digital repository software, CONTENTdm. This effort involved removing images from the collection that were already available in Artstor. The collection decreased from 16,000+ images to just over 7,000 images. This leaner collection was enhanced with improved metadata for better findability and usability. Due to copyright concerns, the collection is restricted to use on-campus and to Furman students, faculty, and staff off-campus.

You can visit the new and improved Art Slide Library digital collection here.


Small images of painted artwork with their titles