Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Indiana Highlights in Ball State Libraries' Architecture Images Collection

The Architecture Images Collection in the Digital Media Repository (DMR) is made up of images of buildings, gardens, parks, city streetscapes, and aerial photos of sites around the world. It also offers images of many sites closer to home. More than 7,500 images in the collection feature works in Indiana, from historic courthouses to modern architecture in Columbus and beyond.

There are world-renowned works in the collection such as Richard Meier’s Atheneum building in New Harmony, Indiana, which was awarded the American Institute of Architect’s Twenty-Five Year award in 2008 for architecture that has stood the test of time. The collection also offers images of typical local houses and views of ordinary main streets.

Users looking for Indiana images can search for specific buildings, like Meier’s Atheneum, or specific designers or firms such as the Indianapolis-based firm of Pierre & Wright. The rich metadata that accompanies every image in the collection also supports searches for building and site types as well as geographic areas. For example, by searching specific fields in the DMR, users can search for parks or courthouses in the state. Users may also wish to search by town or county for all of the images from the area. Combine these building type and geographic area searches and users are able to find churches in a particular county or houses in a specific town.

Many of the collection’s Indiana images were contributed by student and faculty photographers. Some were donated as 35mm slides and the University Libraries later created digital scans for online access. Old and new images of sites are both important parts of the collection. Historic images can help create a picture of how a site, such as a park, has changed over time or document a building that has been lost or significantly altered.

Take, for example, the Delaware County Courthouse. In the Architecture Images Collection, there are historic images of the 1837 courthouse that was demolished in 1884, images of the building that replaced it in 1885 as well as photographs taken as that courthouse was being demolished in 1966, and there are pictures of the courthouse as it stands in Muncie today.


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