The VRC supports teaching and learning by digitizing content for classroom presentations, papers, and publications. We add images to our collection upon Art and Art History faculty and graduate teacher request for teaching, upon student request for papers and presentations, and upon faculty request in support of scholarship and publishing. We digitize from printed materials and slides, accept born-digital content, and also license content from vendors. We catalog images and videos for immediate access in our database and archive them for future access and use. Before ordering images the VRC encourages you to first check the VRC’s teaching collection, Artstor, and Scholars Resource to see if they are already available.

The VRC works with Art and Art History faculty members to create specialized archives of original content related their teaching and creative/scholarly work. See our Find Images page for examples. Contact VRC staff with ideas and questions.

We consult with faculty and students on best practices for personal archiving of images, videos, and other media. This includes master files vs. derivative files, file types, target sizes for master files, color space, image editing, and more. Contact VRC staff with questions.

We also provide a document scanning service for course readings. See below for more information.

The VRC digitizes original images, as well as content from published sources under the fair use provision of copyright law, provided that the request meets fair use criteria. If an image is reasonably available commercially, the VRC will purchase it for our teaching collection (see “Ordering vendor images” below).

Depending on the size and format of the materials to be processed, we digitize original content at approximately 6,000 pixels on the long side or larger, and reproductions at approximately 3,000 pixels on the long side. We use color-calibrated equipment and edit with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. We archive images as TIFs, following best practices for longterm preservation and access. Unless instructed otherwise, we share screen-sized JPEGs with requesters for immediate classroom use, and upload the full-sized images to our LUNA collections to be cataloged for future access and retrieval.

While bookmarks in books are acceptable, if possible please use an image order form (see below) for the type of source material to be scanned (printed materials, VRC slides, or personal slides). If you are unable to fill out the form due to technical or time constraints, we will fill one out for you if you simply let us know which images you wish to have digitized.

A two-week turnaround for up to 50 images is guaranteed. We can almost always accommodate rush orders of a reasonable size, but our staffing and workload may affect rush-order turnaround—it’s best to plan ahead whenever possible.

Order forms for VRC image scanning
Fill out one of the following Google Sheets, depending on the type of material being processed. You will be prompted to make a copy in Google Drive. Please fill out the copy, then download and submit in .xlsx format. Complete instructions are included on the forms.

  • The VRC scans limited numbers of chapters and articles from published sources under the fair use provision of copyright law, provided that they request meets fair use criteria.
  • Service is limited to single book chapters and journal articles used for course readings, as long as they are not already available in electronic form.
  • The VRC will send a link to your electronic file posted temporarily to our Dropbox account.


  • Please plan ahead. We strive to process all order as quickly as possible, but our staffing is limited. Turnaround times will vary depending on the volume of orders in process at any given time.
  • Service is slower or at times unavailable during intersessions due to staff vacations and lack of student assistance. If possible, bring orders in toward the end of the previous semester.

Order forms for VRC document scanning

  • See instructions on the Document scanning order form (one form per book/source; make a copy to edit and send as an email attachment to the VRC, or print and submit with the materials to be scanned)

  • The VRC purchases images upon request for Art and Art History faculty. Visit Scholars Resource to view the high-quality images available commercially from a number of vendors represented on the site. Faculty can register for accounts and build wish lists for the VRC to license.
  • Email VRC staff with the title of your wish list, or if you have any questions about this process.

​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.