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VRA Foundation Awards Two 2013 Project Grants

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Visual Resources Association Foundation Announces 2013 Project Grant Winners

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation is pleased to announce the presentation of its 2013 VRAF Project Grants to Amanda Rybin and Christopher Strasbaugh. The amount of each award is $1500.00.

Amanda Rybin is Associate Director of the Visual Resources Center at the University of Chicago. Amanda and her team plan to develop MetaShotPpt 2 to automate the transfer of embedded metadata and images to PowerPoint on Macintosh computers through an easy-to-use tool utilizing AppleScript instead of PowerPoint plugin. The University of Chicago will use the funds to hire a student programmer and license the Adobe software necessary to accomplish this goal. The project is the logical continuation of the work accomplished last year at Carleton College to transfer embedded metadata and images to PowerPoint on Windows machines, also funded by a VRAF Project Grant. Both projects have grown out of the groundbreaking work of the Embedded Metadata Workgroup of the VRA’s Data Standards Committee. If time allows, a similar script will be developed for Keynote presentation software, which is also popular with Mac users. Information about the tools will be shared on the Metadata Deluxe Wiki at http://metadatadeluxe.pbworks.com/w/page/20792238/FrontPage.

Christopher Strasbaugh, recipient of the other Project Grant, is Director of Visual Resources in the History of Art Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Chris and his colleagues plan to continue their development of the open source DIMLI: Digital Image Management Library, a web-based application written from the ground up using PHP and MySQL to interact with visual resources relational databases. The grant will be used to build a customizable data mapping application and migration tool, which will have the ability to map flat csv files to database tables, complete with templates for Archivision, Scholars Resource, VRA Core, Dublin Core, and others. In addition, a bulk download function will be built into the DAMS. Included in this work will be the necessary software development and documentation provided by an impressive team at Vanderbilt University. A full suite of videos created to highlight DIMLI features and assist new users is available at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNavkQ4OuUO2idBjNfaq2zg/feed.

“The VRA Foundation began the Project Grant award program in 2011,” commented Chairperson Liz Gushee, “and over the years, we’ve been delighted to see the popularity of the program grow and have been impressed by both the quality of applications and the diversity of project types.  This year, the discussion was particularly lively, and the Board is pleased to support two projects which aim to provide useful tools for any practitioner who works with visual resources or cultural heritage materials.”

The purpose of the VRAF Project Grant is to provide support for projects in the field of visual resources and image management. Two awards of up to $1,500 are funded annually. Many types of projects are eligible for funding, including pilots, start-ups, and components of larger projects. Of particular interest are innovative projects with results that can have a broad impact and be shared with the global community. Guidelines and Application Form can be found at http://www.vrafoundation.org/

The mission of the VRA Foundation is to advance knowledge in the field of visual resources and image management and to provide educational and training opportunities in support of broad access to cultural information in the digital age. The Foundation advances awareness of important issues for digital information management; encourages the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; facilitates workplace training; and promotes awareness of intellectual property rights and copyright issues. The VRA Foundation supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse and global audience.

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