A CSA Project in Cooperation with
Bryn Mawr College

(2007 update: most of these lantern slides are now part of ARTstor's collection)

ABOUT Citation information. SLIDE INDEX CSA Home Page CSA HOME

Many colleges have image collections that have been used as educational aids in classrooms and libraries. Bryn Mawr College is typical, though its collection is unusually large. The College's collection of slides and prints has been in use since before the turn of the twentieth century, and many of the images of archaeological subjects are truly irreplaceable. In fact, some of those images are now of interest and importance not only for classroom use but for students and scholars who need to examine monuments in detail. Many of the medium-format glass plates (lantern slides) from late in the nineteenth or early in the twentieth century, all black-and-white of course, were taken of monuments that have subsequently been damaged or eroded. There are also photographs of excavations in progress and of monuments in stages of repair/restoration that provide unique information to contemporary users. Thus, these images are not simply classroom aids now; they are invaluable resources for serious scholarship.

As colleges renovate classroom facilities, however, it becomes more difficult, and ultimately all but impossible, to project the lantern slides for classes or special lectures. Their value, however, remains, and, in the case of Bryn Mawr College, some faculty members were concerned that the lantern slides should not be simply ignored. Both re-photographing the lantern slides so that they could be projected using 35 mm equipment and digitizing them for access over the Internet were considered. The latter seemed the more interesting course, but safety and classroom utility dictated the creation of 35 mm slides as well. Consequently, the Bryn Mawr College photographs available here are also available in the College's Visual Resources Center in 35 mm format.

Among the lantern slides in the College collection are many commercial slides, and those have not been made available here. The slides chosen for digitizing and presentation on the Internet are those taken by College personnel or at the request of the College. As a result, we believe that the College holds the copyright to these images or has the right to display them, and the College has agreed to have them placed on the Web for viewing. The College does, however, retain the right to control any use of these images beyond viewing them on the Web. A statement of the terms and conditions that apply to any such subsidiary use may be found here.

Should anyone recognize any of the images here as having originated with a commercially prepared slide, please notify us of that fact. We have not intended to include such images in this collection.

As may be apparent, the project at its current state consists only of images from lantern slides of the Visual Resources Center at Bryn Mawr College. As may also be apparent, the possibilities are virtually endless for adding to these images those of other institutions that find themselves to be holders of similar resources. Although funding for an expanded version of this resource has not been sought, information about other collections will be gratefully received, as will comments from users concerning the utility of the site. Please contact the Head of the Visual Resources Center, Camilla MacKay, at cmackay@brynmawr.edu.

The images have been made available here in 3 formats - as small, "thumbnail" images to help in the search process and as medium-resolution (roughly 640-x-480 pixels, or so-called VGA resolution) and high-resolution (about 1024-x-768 pixels, or so-called XGA resolution) jpeg images for more serious use. In addition, larger versions in TIFF format are available (on request only); these images are about 2000-x-3000-pixel images. (For any such request, please write to cmackay@brynmawr.edu.)

Access to the images is provided by a rather simple index that is based on the indexing system used in the Bryn Mawr College Digital Media and Visual Resource Center. Images are grouped by country, city and/or site, building (where appropriate), and more detailed location as required by the number of images available. For instance, an image of a sculpted metope from the east side of the Parthenon would be found in Greece (country), Athens (city), Acropolis (site), Parthenon (building), east metopes (detailed location). All listings will be alphabetical, first by country, then by city within country, and so on. Some images are grouped according to the museum where the objects are located.

The slides available here are only a handful at the moment. As funds make expansion possible, more will be added. The index will change, of course, as that expansion takes place.

Choosing a particular group of images will yield a second web page with a small number of thumbnail images and descriptions of the subjects; the index page will remain open in the background. Each thumbnail image and accompanying description will be linked to both larger sizes (medium- and high-resolution) so that the user may access either larger version of the photograph, we hope with no more than two clicks of the mouse from the arrival at the Web site. (Please remember that Web browsers have a search capability - usually control-F or command-F or FIND under the EDIT pull-down menu - that would greatly speed access to particular information in the index. That search capacity works only within a single Web page, but the index will remain such a single page.)

The images will appear differently on MACs and PCs. This is inevitable at the moment, because the two systems have been set to display images with slightly different levels of brightness and contrast. The images here sometimes seem better on one platform, sometimes on the other, apparently depending on conditions of the original photographs. Users should not hesitate to download the images and adjust them locally for optimum appearance in their own environment.

The Web site has been constructed by the Center for the Study of Architecture (CSA), a non-profit institution previously located on the Bryn Mawr College campus. The Visual Resources Center of Bryn Mawr College maintains the site, and requests for information, comments, suggestions, and so on should be sent to the Head of the Visual Resources Center, Camilla MacKay (cmackay@brynmawr.edu or Visual Resources Center, Carpenter Library, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010).

Many people have helped to make this material available on the Web. Our thanks to Professor Richard Hamilton of the Bryn Mawr College Greek Department for the initial idea of this Web project and support in keeping this project going, to Jeffrey A. Cohen for his support and assistance, to Katherine Singley and her friends Catherine Sease and David Walton for helping to fund this work, and to Terrance Rusnak and Kathryn Smerke for their work to cull, catalog, and clean the lantern slides in the collection.

To the Index. Note: Having read this page, you will probably not want to return to it in the future. The index page that may be reached from here will, on the other hand, probably entice you back repeatedly. Therefore, we recommend that you bookmark the index page.

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