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Karen Kessel

Visual Resources Curator

Art Room 107
(707) 664-2145

Visual Resources Collection

The Art and Art History Department's Visual Resources Collection is in the process of transformation from slides to digital images.

Read about how we are contributing to our local art history story:

"The Baby and the Bath Water: Reassessing Analog Slides"

Last fall, with support from the Instuctionally Related Activities Fund, we began posting images from the collection to ARTstor through its new Shared Shelf hosting service. Anyone on campus can access the images by logging in to ARTStor through the campus Library's database portal. This website provides general information about collection polices and content. Below you will find useful links to local and international art museumsas well as links to information about creating digital images and using them in presentations and papers, with tips for size and format. There are links to two videos on photographing your artwork produced by the Otis College of Art and Design. Faculty and students at Sonoma State University may use the digital images in our collection in campus presentations and student papers, but not for public or commercial purposes. Check out the copyright link to understand your rights and responsibilities in making use of other peoples' original works. The collection has a slide scanner and equipment for making digital images from printed sources. To inquire about using digital images from the collection in the classroom or having slides or pictures scanned for a presentation or paper, please contact Karen Kessel by email or phone. Request images from a source in our library or from your own printed reproduction by downloading the Image Request Form, filling it out, and bringing it with the image source to the Image Collection.


The Visual Collective

The California State University Chancellor's Office is providing support to develop a shared image database called The Visual Collective that will soon be accessible to all users on the CSU campuses through the Scholarworks website. The Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, and San Bernardino campuses are currently collaborating on this project. If you are interested in learning more about this resource or sharing your images on this site, please fill out and send in the questionnaire linked here so we can keep you informed about when it will become available.

Digital Image Distribution Questionnaire


Students can earn 1-3 units of credit for working as interns in the Visual Resources Collection for 3-9 hours per week. This is an opportunity to learn more about job possibilities in the changing fields of librarianship, computing applications for digital images, and image curating and documentary photography. Art history and studio majors and others with some art history coursework and digital image editing skills will find an Image Collection internship an especially valuable and unique experience.

Internship Information

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The Visual Resources Curator is a member of the Visual Resources Association, the professional organization for image specialists and providers that is working to establish national and international standards for image cataloging and reproduction quality, fair use guidelines for copyrighted images, and new and better methods for creating and accessing images. The VRA has published 15 Special Bulletins for Image Collections, including Karen Kessel's guide for developing collections of images of Native American art, VRA special Bulletin #15.Here is a link to several websites about Native American art and culture.

The Womens's Art Archive

The Image Collection has acquired the materials from the Women's Art Archive that were formerly housed in the Special Collections of the University Library. For information about accessing these slides and clipping files, please contact Karen Kessel.

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