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Visual Resources Center


About the Visual Resources Center

The Visual Resources Center is located in room 343 on the third floor of Lewis & Clark's Watzek Library. The VRC maintains a continuously expanding collection of digital images and a robust analog slide collection to support instruction in visual culture across the Lewis & Clark curriculum. Both Western and non-Western cultures are represented, with particular strength in East Asian and Buddhist art images.

About the Collection

The Visual Resources Collection is a teaching resource of Watzek Library. The collection of over 50,000 slides (35mm) and several thousand digital images represents artwork from a wide range of media, time periods, world regions and cultures. The collection exists to support instruction in the Art Department as well as historical and cultural studies campus-wide. Use of the collection is limited to members of the Lewis & Clark College community.

Digital Image Collections


accessCeramics is a growing collection of images of contemporary ceramics by recognized artists. It is designed for use by artists, arts educators, scholars and the general public, and is intended to fill a void in contemporary ceramics digital image collections on the web.


ARTstor is a licensed digital library that offers collections of art images and descriptive information as well as software tools to enable use of the collections in the classroom. ARTstor is for educational and scholarly uses only. Please check the Permitted Uses portion under "About ARTstor" on the ARTstor webpage.

  • Instruction & Training

    • Consultations

      • Individual or Group

        The VR Coordinator is available by appointment for individual or group consultations. To make an appointment, please call or email as soon as possible in advance. If scheduling a group, please keep in mind that more advance time may be needed to meet everyone's availabilities.

      • Research

        Research consultations can occur at any phase of the research process, whether the topic(s) or question(s) are broad or narrow. However, this type of consultation is most efficient if a list of goals, topics or questions are prepared prior to meeting. To make an appointment, please call or email well in advance of the assignment due date.

      • Image Research

        Image consultations can occur at any phase of a project. However, this type of consultation is most efficient if a list of goals, topics or questions are prepared prior to meeting. To make an appointment, please call or email well in advance of the project deadline.

      • ARTstor training: Teaching, Research, Presentations, Personal Collections, & More!

        ARTstor is a licensed digital image library available to anyone with a Lewis & Clark account; however, users will need to register with ARTstor in order to download images or save them into Image Groups (like "slideshows"). The VR Coordinator is available for training in ARTstor and everything that entails, from teaching and learning in the classroom and across the liberal arts curriculum, to integrating your personal image collections into the millions of images available in ARTstor. Lewis & Clark's growing collection of digital images are now available alongside ARTstor's growing library of images! Examples of topics may include: introduction to Folders and Image Groups; Introduction to Personal Collections; Integrating the Two; Managing Permissions (a.k.a., making things private, sharing with students, or making things public across the institution); using the Offline Image Viewer or exporting to PowerPoint; searching and browing effectively; and much more!

      • Image use in faculty publication and research

        The VRC Coordinator can help faculty locate and procure specific images for Lewis & Clark-affiliated research and publication. Please schedule an appointment with enough advance time to allow for image rights negotiations, any shipping that ILL or Summit may require, and to study different versions of images. Training is also available for ArtResource, an online database of images marked for publication purposes from the world's leading museums.

      • Personal collection building - Best Practices

        This type of consultation covers a series of best practices for building and maintaining image collections which last and are searchable into the future. Often, personal collections come together ad hoc from a variety of sources. How do you protect these collections? What best practices should be adopted to ensure their longevity? How about better integration with Lewis & Clark's Collection? These are all questions that will be discussed in this type of consultation.

      • Donating to the Lewis & Clark Images for Teaching Collection

        When Personal Image Collections are deemed of a quality and subject matter suitable for the college curriculum, they may be acquired by the VRC. Personal Image Collections are defined as 35mm slides, digital images, or photographs that are owned by faculty, staff or students. If you have slides or photographic images you would like to donate for scanning into Lewis & Clark's "Images for Teaching" Collection, please call or email to set up an appointment. Slides are no longer being added to the slide collection; however, all slide images will be scanned as digital images available through ARTstor. There are two kinds of donation forms, depending on image rights and donor preferences. The VRC Coordinator to go over these forms with you to determine which is right for you during your appointment.

      • Copyright & Intellectual Property: art and image use

        The VR Coordinator is available to answer questions pertaining to Copyright and Intellectual Property for images and image use. Please see Copyright for more resources before making an appointment. All legal inquiries should be directed to Lewis & Clark's legal counsel, David Ellis, at dgellis@lclark.edu

      • Use of Lewis & Clark images for campus events and publications

        The Lewis & Clark Gender and Warren Symposia are two such patrons which have used Lewis & Clark images to promote the symposia. The official holiday card has used student work from the Lewis & Clark Collection for several years, as well as articles in The Source, the campus e-newsletter and print magazine. If you are interested in using an image from the Lewis & Clark Collection for a Lewis & Clark event or publication, please set up an appointment with the VR Coordinator to choose the most suitable image(s).

    • Workshops and Course Discussions

      • Scanning Best Practices

        For work-study students engaged in scanning analog items into digital image collections, or for those supervising work-study students in these activities. This workshop covers equipment, costs, training, image specs, archival considerations, and quality control.

      • Using images effectively in research

        This is effective as a workshop or as a course discussion. Topics covered include: what to look for when searching for images for a research project; how to cite images used; choosing the right quality of images to effectively illustrate your research or project topic; and the final layout of text and image.

      • Presenting effectively with images

        What changes when an image is projected versus in print? What size image should you look for? Is there a Best Practices guide to presenting with images? This workshop/course discussion covers techniques, tips, and pointers for presenting with images to effectively illustrate your topic.

      • Conducting art historical research

        For a rapidly changing field, the traditional methods of art historical research still produce some of the most compelling results. This workshop/course discussion walks students through traditional bibliographic research, journal and periodical browsing, and crucial interdisciplinary resources necessary for the art historian today.

  • Collection Development

    • Methods for ordering books at Watzek Library

      The VR Coordinator orders books, periodicals and databases for the Art Department. Priority goes to those orders which will directly support instruction and research for courses offered at Lewis & Clark. Orders take 4-5 weeks to process, so please get the orders to me the term prior to the term in which you require them. Send orders by email, preferably with a URL or with ISBN numbers, to the VR Coordinator. This helps to speed the process of ordering. Due to the volume of requests, I will only get back to you if there are problems with your order(s).

      • By author and publication date

        If there are specific authors you would like to order, please limit requests to recent publications, and/or specific publication dates.

      • By title

        The most straightforward way to order. Please include as much information as you can when ordering. An easy way to locate ISBN numbers is by finding the book in our WorldCat Local catalog or Amazon.com. Simply provide the link in the email.

      • By notable work

        If there is a seminal work that you would like our library to order, email the VR Coordinator about purchasing the title.

      • By exhibition or show

        Funds permitting, Watzek Library will order the most recent and/or groundbreaking exhibition catalogs for the collection. Please send a targeted list of galleries and/or museums, for continued ordering, to the VR Coordinator. Otherwise, the name and date of the exhibit will suffice for one-time ordering.

    • Digital image purchasing

      The VR Coordinator purchases images to support the Lewis & Clark curricula, faculty and staff instruction, and the Lewis & Clark community's current and future image needs. The Visual Resources Coordinator will determine which digital imaging projects fit the criteria of institutional need, staff support and budget. Imaging projects for the Art Department will receive priority due to curriculum needs for visual resources.

      Image purchases are made following a call for faculty and staff requests, sent out via email. Requests should be grouped by genre, media, artist, or museum holdings. The VR Coordinator will make every effort to procure the requested images for the Lewis & Clark Collection.

    • Analog scanning

      • Print materials

        Print materials can include: books, pamphlets, exhibition catalogs, etc. These print materials should be visual in nature, an important supplement to or focus of instruction, and should enhance the overall Lewis & Clark "Images for Teaching" Collection. Please allow 2 weeks of scan time for large orders. Figure and/or Plate Numbers should be clearly bookmarked and labeled to minimize mistakes and to speed the production process.

      • 35mm slides and photographic materials

        Targeted scanning of Lewis & Clark's robust analog 35mm slide collection is already taking place. Please visit the "Buddhist Art Collection" in ARTstor by entering and logging in with your ARTstor user name and password. The collections owned and managed by Lewis & Clark are listed under "Institutional Collections" in the middle and bottom of the homepage. If you would like to request to digitize parts of the slide collection or your own slides into one of these collections, please set up an appointment with the VR Coordinator, who will work out a project timeline and workflow in consultation with you. Transparencies, lantern slides and photographs can also be digitized. A timeline and workflow will be established through an appointment with the VR Coordinator.

  • Specialized collections

    • accessCeramics

      accessCeramics is a digital image collection of contemporary ceramics art, harnessing the power of social media and facilitated by Lewis & Clark. With over 4,000 images and 325 artists from around the world, accessCeramics has become a recognized tool for instruction and research in the arts. Read more about accessCeramics in the "About" page of the website, or to contribute, click on "Contribute".

    • Senior Studio Art Images

      The VR Coordinator works with the Department of Art each Spring term to archive images from the Senior Studio Art Capstone Experience, added to the growing collection of Senior Studio Art Images in Lewis & Clark Senior Art Digital Archive! Sort by year, student name, or media, and enjoy the experience!

  • Intellectual Property & Copyright FAQ

    • What is Copyright and Intellectual Property?

      Intellectual Property refers to those musical, dramatic, artistic, and other tangible works created by authors, which are protected by Copyright. Copyright law was drafted as a form of legal protection for creators of original works. Proponents view Copyright as a method for securing fair economic return on authors’ creative labor and providing economic incentives for authors to create, publish and disseminate original works. Publication is not essential for the work to be protected under Copyright, nor is the well-known encircled "c." All that is required is that original creative work be fixed in tangible form. After the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, this now includes electronic databases, software, computer programs, film, multimedia, video, graphics, musical scores, sound recordings, and any print media of artistic value.

    • What rights does Copyright law grant to the copyright holder?

      Rights to reproduce copies of the work, which includes digital copies, or digitizing the original work

      Rights to create derivative works. This also includes digital surrogates of the original work

      Rights to distribute copies by sale, rental, or lease. This includes making the work available online

      Rights to publicly perform the work, if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic work, pantomime, audiovisual work, or motion picture. This includes projecting the work through PowerPoint, etc.

      Rights to publicly display the work, if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, sculptural, graphic, or pictorial work, including images or sound bites from a film, or pantomime. This includes displaying the work on a computer screen

      The copyright holder retains these rights, even when someone else owns the work. There are important exemptions, however, to these exclusive rights, including "Fair Use."

    • If I am using materials for educational purposes, why do I need to worry about Copyright?

      Educational use is only one of four factors of the Fair Use exemption. An argument for Fair Use must be weighed on a case-by-case basis against the four guidelines provided by Copyright:

      The purpose and character of the use: Educational, nonprofit use, in and of itself, does not necessarily justify fair use. However, it is the basis from which other, supporting arguments may arise.

      The nature of the copyrighted work: Here, a distinction is drawn between informational and creative works. For example, copying clippings from a newspaper or magazine would probably be considered more fair than duplicating a musical score. This second factor can get tricky, however. From the College Art Association, we draw the example of digitizing a slide image: "Generally, images in art slides will be highly creative, rather than informational, a fact that ordinarily would cut against a finding of fair use. However, to the extent that the display of an image in the context of teaching art history involves fact, rather than a display for expressive or creative purposes, that type of use would support a finding of fair use."

      The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the whole work. The size and permanence of the display of the work can weigh in here, as well as whether the portion used is deemed to be the "heart" of the work, tipping the scales in favor of unfair use. For example, repurposing the chorus of a song may very well be violating copyright.

      The effect of the use upon the potential market or value of the copyrighted work. This factor is seen to be the most important in finding whether a use case is fair or not, and judging a potential market for a product or work has led to some pretty controversial cases (see Sony versus Betamax for a good example). As the College Art Association says, "The effect of educational, nonprofit use on a market that has yet to take true shape is almost impossible to measure." Stated plainly, if the reproduction of a copyrighted work reduces the potential market and sales and, therefore, the potential profits of the copyright owner, that use is unlikely to be found a fair use.

    • What about exemptions for teaching, libraries, and archives?

      For education, an important exemption exists in Section 110 of the Copyright Act, which allows for display of a work (both the digital surrogate and the underlying work, if applicable) in a face-to-face teaching setting.

      The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002 expanded the scope of this exemption to allow accredited nonprofit educational institutions to use online technology to display a work in an amount comparable to usage typically displayed during a live class session.

      There are statutory conditions, however. The use must be an integral part of the instructional activity, made under direct supervision of an instructor and in a manner analogous to use that would take place in a live setting. In addition, your institution must apply technological protection measures, such as password protection to enable access to the website, so that the materials are made available only to enrolled students. Further, your institution must use digital rights management technologies that reasonably prevent students from maintaining the works for longer than the period of the class session. Your institution, however, may retain the material on a server for the duration of the course.

      Section 108 is the section devoted to Libraries and Archives. This section provides important exemptions so that we, as a Library or Archives, can serve our patrons better. It includes exemptions for preservation copying of unpublished works, replacement copying of published works, reproduction services for patrons, interlibrary loan, acquisition and reproduction of television news programs, provision of reproduction equipment in libraries, non-profit lending of computer programs between libraries, digitization of published works in their last twenty years of copyright, and/or migrating original work to a new format, digital or otherwise, if the existing format becomes obsolete. All of these carry with them important statutory limits, however, so should not be acted upon without careful consideration.

    • What are "Commons" and how do they differ from Copyright?

      The word "commons" refers to resources that are collectively owned. The idea of information, knowledge, creative, or artistic commons grew as a reaction to more stringent copyright regulations, especially after the Digital Millenium Copyright Act was passed. Proponents of the Commons argue that if creators are given a range of choices for licensing a work, they are just as likely to contribute to the wealth of cultural works, even if they stand to make no monetary profit. There are many forms of Commons, from Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons, to Flickr Commons, and Creative Commons. Most of these Commons gives the creator the choice to make his or her work freely available, or available with some rights withheld. Please see the link, below, for Creative Commons, for more information.

    • What are Orphan Works?

      Orphan Works are those works whose copyright owner(s) cannot be identified or found. In spite of one's best efforts, it may be difficult or impossible to locate the owner(s) of the copyright to an original work. This could be because the work is anonymous, the company that owned the copyright is defunct, or it is impossible to trace the rights because the company changed hands many times over a number of years. Sometimes the copyright owner is known, but the owner's representative or the owner cannot be located.

      In these cases, the user is expected to carry out a diligent investigation into locating the owner(s) of the copyright. If the owner(s) is later found, after the work is used, there is only a small compensation fee assessed, instead of the large penalties and fines associated with copyright infringement. Libraries, archives, museums, and other nonprofit entities can avoid even this small fee if they stop using the work immediately upon notification.

      Please see the link below, from the Society of American Archivists, if you are interested in the most current information on Orphan Works.

    • What is the Public Domain?

      Public Domain refers to Intellectual Property that is not owned or controlled by anyone. These works are not protected by copyright because of one or more of the following reasons:

      The term of copyright for the work has expired

      The copyright was not renewed or guaranteed by the creator

      The U.S. government created the work

      Works "pass into" the Public Domain after specified lengths of time. For a great chart illustrating when works pass into the Public Domain, click here, created by Lolly Gasaway, from University of North Carolina.

    • How do I determine whether I need to seek permission to use a work?

      Permission allows someone who is not the copyright holder to do with the work what would otherwise be copyright infringement. There are several ways to go about seeking permission. You may wish to conduct your own research into the ownership and chain of custody of a work, or there are various tools at your disposal. I have provided Stanford's list of charts, tools, and interactive computators to help you better determine when you are within your rights and when you may need to seek permission. The Digital Image Rights Computator and the Digital Copyright Slider are both on this list.

      Of course, if you want a foolproof method, you can search the U.S. Copyright Office's records of renewals, registrations, and transfers of ownership. It's free in person. Someone at the Copyright Office can also search for you, but at a steep rate of $165/hour for a minimum of two hours. Copyrights made after 1978 are available for searching here. You can also search the Copyright Clearance Center. If you are having trouble with this process, there is usually a librarian, archivist, or general counsel at your institution that would be happy to help you in your research process.

      Permission is also granted though licenses, agreements, or forms.

    • What resources exist at Lewis & Clark?

      The Lewis & Clark Copy Center's note about Copyright

      Course Reserves Q&A and link to the permissions form

      Special Collections and Archives pdfs for both publications permissions forms and research forms can be accessed here.

      Collection Development Policy on Gifts for Watzek can be found here

      Usage Policy for Database and Electronic Records at Watzek can be found here.

      Be on the Intellectual Property Student Organization (IPSO) mailing list by enrolling here.

      IPSO list of links on Intellectual Property Law found here.

      David Ellis, College of Arts and Sciences General Counsel: dgellis@lclark.edu, (503) 768-7691, Frank Manor House President's Office

    • How can I avoid copyright infringement?

      Starting today, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself about Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws, ask questions, cite your sources, and keep reading. The law is always changing!

  • Quick Links

    Stanford University: List of charts, tools, and computators, everything from Fair Use to the TEACH Act to the Public Domain

    Digital Image Rights Computator

    Digital Copyright Slider, by the Library of Congress

    College Art Association: Q&A on digitization of slides and display of images for educational use

    Bound By Law, by the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain

    Columbia University's Checklist for Fair Use

    Society of American Archivists 2009 report on Orphan Works

  • More Resources

    Creative Commons

    Copyright Clearance Center

    Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain

    Cornell University Copyright Information Center

    Georgia Harper: Crash Course on Copyright and IP

    U.S. Copyright Office

This page maintained by Erica Jensen. Updated 31 May, 2016.