VRAF News & Events

2014-2015 VRA Foundation Project Grant Winners Named

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation announces the presentation of its 2014 VRAF Project Grants to Matthias Arnold, University of Heidelberg, and Krystle Kelley, University of Colorado Boulder. The amount of each award is $1500.

Matthias Arnold, Heidelberg Research Architecture, University of Heidelberg, will use the award to support the development of the VRA Core 4 XML Transform Tool. This tool will enable any user who can supply descriptive image metadata in a standardized CSV form (comma separated values, e.g. via Excel) to create validating VRA Core 4 XML. Useful on its own, this XML also represents an important step for further transformations to other XML schemas, like RDF to support output of data as LOD (Linked Open Data). The tool is being developed in consultation with both the VRA Data Standards and the Core OC Committees, will be shared with the image management community during beta-testing for feedback, and will be open-source and freely available upon completion. Susan Jane Williams (Independent Cataloging and Consulting Services) will serve as coordinator for the mapping templates and will help create documentation, demonstrations (sample records and mappings), and further mapping help in use of the tool. We are confident that this tool will have broad value and impact within the visual resources community, and for the VRA Core 4 standard.

Krystle Kelley, M.A. student in Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder, will use the award to support a pilot project to digitize and make broadly accessible 500 images that highlight the extraordinary depth and breadth of the 30,000 Ronald M. Bernier Image Archive. The particular strength of this archive is in the cultures of Nepal, India, Tibet, and Southeast Asia, and in its emphasis on documentation of less studied indigenous traditions, notoriously difficult to access countries and sites, and sites and works that are now in peril or have now disappeared altogether. The project aims to provide broad, public access to a unique, incredibly valuable archive, and do so at the highest standard. As the project evolves, members of the scholarly community at the University of Colorado Boulder and beyond will be consulted to contribute metadata, providing the project with a crowdsourcing element that could serve as a model for others who are trying to grapple with important—but minimally described—collections. Krystle has assembled an excellent project team at the University of Colorado Boulder, including an Art History faculty member, and Elaine Paul and Lia Pileggi from the Visual Resources Center.  We anticipate that the project will lead to a resource that will be of lasting value to scholars and image management professionals, as well as to the broader general public.


The purpose of the VRA Foundation’s Project Grant is to provide support for projects in the field of visual resources and image management.  Please visit vrafoundation.org for more information.

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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