Version 2 of the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID2) is now available to the entire Vanderbilt community. MDID has dramatically changed the way art history is taught in the United States and in parts of Canada, Europe, and Australia. This fall the History of Art and the Classical Studies departments will begin using this web application for the storage, retrieval, and presentation of digital images in teaching.
MDID is a digital media management system with sophisticated tools for discovering, aggregating, and presenting digital media in a wide variety of learning spaces. Developed in 1997 at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, the project has evolved over time into a cross-disciplinary instructional application used at several hundred institutions in the United States and around the world, allowing universities to host image collections.
To date, the Vanderbilt Digital Image Collection contains approximately 63,000 images for educational use across campus, including all the images in the History of Art and Classical Studies collections. This collection of images spans time and place and is focused on the areas of teaching and research of our faculty.
Also available through MDID is a collection of 29,000 licensed images from Archivision, Saskia, Ltd., Hartill Art Associates, Davis Art Images, and The Bridgeman Art Library.
ARTstor is another image database that contains more than a million art and architecture images that can be searched and used in a variety of ways. Flickr Creative Commons provides millions of high-resolution images available for download and use for academics and more, Wellesley College’s List of Image Databases offers an extensive list of resources arranged according to art historical periods so as to make it even easier to find which databases are helpful with certain works throughout time.
Work on MDID3 began in 2008, and MDID2 will allow us to move into MDID3 when it becomes available. This latest version is completely redesigned in order to meet emerging user expectations, such as support for audio and video, integration with Blackboard and other web sites, more flexible metadata structures, a richer and more robust discovery interface, PowerPoint compatibility, and novel presentation mechanisms. MDID3 will also provide a platform for building innovative web-based multimedia applications and support searchability in Flickr Creative Commons, ARTstor, and other repositories.