Matt Isner Named Digital Imaging Specialist for VRC

Matt Isner is the new digital imaging specialist for the department’s Visual Resources Center, replacing Kirvin Hodges, who retired on June 1. Isner came to Vanderbilt earlier this year from Buffalo, New York, where he was an adjunct professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Canisius College. Prior to that, he was at Penn State where he was a section instructor for two art history courses, worked in the Visual Resources Center, and focused his research on the minor arts of the Early Byzantine period.

Since joining the VRC staff in mid-January as assistant visual resources curator, Isner has worked to develop strategies for organizing images that will be accessible and usable for research and teaching and of sufficient quality for an academic environment and for publication. Enthusiastic about technology, Isner believes that digital databases are not only practical tools for the arrangement and storage of visual data but also offer innovative techniques for researching and presenting visual material.

With his passionate interest in the evolution of teaching strategies involving visual material, Isner envisions “manipulating images in engaging and exciting ways in the classroom, using dynamic visual aids such as image collages and graphic overlays,” he described. “In this modern context, students expect engaging media in the classroom.”

He is actively designing a catalogue interface known as DIMLI (Digital Image Management Library) that will replace our present method of cataloguing, track the progress of orders through the Visual Resources Center, and incorporate Getty vocabularies to raise the standard of cataloguing to comply with VRA Core 4. Isner will continue to enhance our expanding collection of nearly 40,000 digital images and has plans for DIMLI to accommodate video and audio files that capture lectures of our faculty, visiting lecturers, and student presentations as well as documentary films. ~Fay

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