VRC Directory of External Image Sources

Presented in historical, cultural, and media categories. Sources include museums, archives, and digital libraries focused on art and other cultural heritage. They have been selected for their image quality, reliable descriptive metadata, breadth of coverage, and/or specialized coverage.

VRC Digital Collections

Log in with Identikey username and password

Housed in the LUNA platform. You can explore our various collections from here, or access the individual collections with descriptions below. Log in with your CU Boulder username and password (IdentiKey) to access additional content limited to CU Boulder audiences, such as our Visiting Artist videos. Additional collections will then display in the column on the left of collections home page.

See our LUNA Users Guide to learn how to take full advantage of LUNA's advanced tools, including Media Groups, advanced searching, the LUNA Workspace, and exporting media as single files, zipped files, or to PowerPoint.

The Art History Visual Resources Center's collections include historical materials that may at times reflect ableist, ageist, classist, homophobic, misogynist, or racist attitudes which do not align with the values of the Department of Art and Art History. These may be used in our curriculum to critique various systems of discrimination and oppression. However, this may not be self-evident in the works or their accompanying descriptions. The VRC aims to balance academic freedom and historical records with sensitivity about the presentation and description of such materials.


We are committed to culturally sensitive cataloging practices. We endeavor to use accurate, respectful, and inclusive language. To ensure optimal access to our collections, especially when they appear within larger, aggregated collections, we follow data standards for broad discoverability. This includes using terms from published authorities, such as the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus and Library of Congress Subject Headings. While these authorities are constantly evolving, some outdated and even harmful terms persist. We actively support the many efforts occurring within the library and archives profession to update such terms, and carefully consider which terms to include as searchable variants to facilitate discovery.

We acknowledge the critical cataloging work to be done within our collections. When possible we will consult creators directly for their gender and cultural identities. Our collections contain materials that represent and/or are created by marginalized groups of people. We strive to use the current language of artists, historians, and others who belong to, are descended from, specialize in, and/or work closely with the communities we are describing. We aspire to moving our descriptive practices away from the default presumption of whiteness.

With terminology that changes over time, the process of description is iterative. We commit to this longterm process, and to making the practice of culturally sensitive description a significant element of the training and professional development we provide to student catalogers. We recognize that we will make mistakes. We welcome suggestions for corrections, annotations, or other opportunities to review our practices. Please email us.

This statement was informed most directly by the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia's Anti-Racist Description Resources, Dorothy Berry's Digitizing and Enhancing Description Across Collections to Make African American Materials More Discoverable on Umbra Search African American History, Jackie Dean's Conscious Editing of Archival Description at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Temple University Libraries' SCRC Statement on Potentially Harmful Language in Archival Description and Cataloging.

The Vandersall Archive (open access) consists of digitized images from the research travels of Amy L. Vandersall, specialist in medieval art and architecture, Professor Vandersall taught for the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder, and provides her photographs free of charge for scholarly publishing.

The Art and Art History Student Work houses documentation of MFA and BFA work from the Department of Art and Art History, with the most recent work appearing first. Since the 1960s the Department has routinely archived MFA thesis exhibitions, initially as 35mm slides and VHS tapes and now as digital files. The Visual Resources Center is currently digitizing and cataloging the 35mm slides in reverse chronological order. Note that over time some students did not submit documentation of their work, so there are occasional gaps in representation. Documentation of BFA exhibitions has been collected in recent years, but submissions have been sporadic due to their voluntary nature.

The Emanuel Martinez Collection, which has been digitized and cataloged by the Art and Art History Visual Resources Center, consists of materials collected by the Chicano artist Emanuel Martinez during his expansive career. As a muralist, painter, and sculptor, Martinez has achieved international acclaim. His career exploded during the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, during which he worked with civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, and Reies López Tijerina and helped to popularize the Chicano mural movement. Martinez has received numerous public art commissions in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and other parts of the United States. He has also participated in major museum exhibitions and his work is part of the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art. The materials of this collection speak to his successful and lengthy artistic career, as well as the broader Chicano Movement in the U.S. After Martinez approached the Latino History Project at the University of Colorado Boulder about the collection in 2019, he agreed to loan the materials to the University. They are reproduced here with his permission.

The Environmental Futures collection is an outgrowth of a program generously funded by a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant funded a seminar, Deep Horizons: Making Visible an Unseen Spectrum of Ecological Casualties & Prospects, which was offered during the 2020-2021 academic year at the University of Colorado Boulder. Numerous public events, including panels, lectures, and art exhibitions, were held, with participation from preeminent scholars and practitioners. The program aimed to traverse multiple disciplines and perspectives to investigate intersectional questions concerning the changing planet as it affects specific peoples, communities, wildlife species, and ecosystems in varying and inequitable ways. In the coming years this collection will expand upon these initial activities to become a broader teaching and research resource at CU Boulder and beyond.

The Department of Art and Art History's Practicum Lecture Series explores strategies to forge a sustainable, productive, fulfilling career in the arts. Through public talks, individual meetings, and workshops, guest speakers discuss the trajectory and evolution of their art practices, work/life balance, and professional development strategies. The series started in the spring 2018 and takes place in the spring semester. Please explore this archive to learn about our invited guests, who are a diverse group of local and nationally known art professionals.

The Bernier Archive documents more than thirty years of research travels by University of Colorado Boulder Professor Ronald Bernier and Dianne Bernier. Dr. Bernier was an art historian specializing in Himalayan architecture. The Berniers traveled extensively throughout Asia, with repeated trips to the Himalayas, South Asia, and Southeast Asia in particular. Their images are available for non-commercial use with attributions under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

The Rural Environments Archive highlights a unique and ever evolving collection of photographs and artifacts collected by Associate Professor Richard Saxton (Founder and Director of M12 Studio). Along with Professor Saxton’s images of the rural landscape and vernacular structures, REA contains additional photographs, videos, artworks and everyday documents that have been gathered by students and members of the public. There are also various tools, books, and objects such as used pie tins from Pie Town, New Mexico and postcards from the Enchanted Highway in rural North Dakota. REA is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder and is a collaborative endeavor between Professor Saxton, The Art & Rural Environments Field School, and the Visual Resources Center. The collection currently contains over 6000 images capturing both spatial and social realities of the rural. Presenting documents of budding rural life as well as neglect and abandonment, the collection covers a large variety of what makes up the rural.

The Visiting Artist & Faculty Lectures/Interviews collection consists of videorecorded public lectures and interviews dating back to 1987 from the Department of Art and Art History's Visiting Artist program. Also includes talks by visiting lecturers and faculty from the department. Videos in our collection appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent titles appearing first. For permissions reasons, the collection is limited to current students, faculty, and staff at CU Boulder IdentiKey login required.

The Visual Resources Teaching Collection includes materials digitized and licensed for courses and research. For copyright reasons, the collection is limited to current students, faculty, and staff at CU Boulder IdentiKey login required.

Art and Art History Images on Flickr

The VRC regularly posts images of people and events related to the Department of Art and Art History on our Flickr site. We also invite departmental members and alumni to join our Flickr group and share your own AAH content there.

Other Digital Collections at CU

The VRC's collections are part of the CU Digital Library, which includes numerous collections from the University Libraries. The CU Digital Library website is soon transitioning to a different platform, and will undergo updating at that time.

​This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Visual Resources Center, Department of Art and Art History, University of Colorado Boulder. https://www.colorado.edu/artandarthistory/vrc