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Artstor - Using Images and Managing Collections at DU

Guide to using Artstor as a image collection management tool for faculty and students at DU

How do Artstor features replace the features of CourseMedia?

Artstor provides the DU community access to over 2.5 million images in addition to the images from CourseMedia. As well as supplementing the images formerly accessible in CourseMedia, Artstor allows the entire DU community with access to images at any time. CourseMedia was available only to a select group of faculty and students enrolled in particular classes, one academic quarter at a time. Users log on to Artstor through the DU library website, which allows them to search the collections, select images, and gather them into Groups. These Groups serve as the basis for lectures and research. Groups can be shared on Canvas. The images in the Groups can be re-ordered by clicking and dragging within the Group, just as they could in CourseMedia. 

 Artstor has the ability to export these Groups as PowerPoints. The images appear one-at-a-time initially in PowerPoint but can be easily edited for dual projection or other uses. The ability to export Group as a portable PowerPoint allows presentation capability without internet.

The Study feature in Artstor allows a student to quiz themselves on images in a Group. CourseMedia had a similar feature called “Study Viewer.”

Artstor also provides an online presentation method. Within a Group, a user can present in the classroom with a “Compare” feature that allows up to ten images to displayed (with cataloging information if desired). This is relatively comparable to CourseMedia Presentation System. To select images for comparison:

  1.  Click on Browse and select Groups. 
    Screenshot of accessing groups in Artstor

  2. On the next screen, click on the group of images from within one of the group options (e.g., My Groups, Institutional, Artstor Curated), that you want to present then hit Present.
    Screenshot of present function in Artstor

  3.  Select Compare.
    Screenshot of compare function in Artstor



What files from CourseMedia were migrated to Artstor?

All 76,000 plus still digital images and their cataloging information were migrated from CourseMedia into Artstor’s institutional collection for the University of Denver in early 2021. In addition, the entire Archivision digital library was migrated to Artstor (about 84,000 still images). Archivision is a vendor-produced collection which the DU library had purchased several years ago; the images were unavailable through CourseMedia but are now fully licensed for and accessible to the entire DU community. 

Several professors had “personal images” in CourseMedia.  These images were not responsibly sourced or cataloged, and thus were not migrated to Artstor. 

Why the migration from CourseMedia to Artstor?

CourseMedia was a web-based image management software developed at the University of Denver to help instructors search, organize, and present media materials in class lectures. Students enrolled in classes could access the professors’ lectures for review during the quarters. The lectures could be printed out in thumbnail sizes as PDF for study and review. The initial design of CourseMedia was a collaboration between DU’s Office of Teaching and Learning and the School of Art & Art History’s Visual Media Center and professors.  

CourseMedia Projection System was an Adobe Air-based software extension of CourseMedia that could be installed on a user's desktop or laptop computer in order to project gallery images in the classroom. The Projection System allowed professors to project images singly or side-by-side, and to display information about the image.

Images in CourseMedia reflected the diversity of classes taught by the studio art and art history professors, and were supplemented by images purchased from vendors of art and cultural objects, often in partnership with the DU library. The Visual Media Center accepted requests for images from books and other print material from the faculty, which they scanned and cataloged in-house, to be used in classes under the Fair Use doctrine of US copyright law. CourseMedia also could be integrated in Canvas with other classroom materials. 

CourseMedia’s software platform eventually aged beyond its usefulness and the fragility of the program became a liability for sustainability. The Visual Media Center investigated several replacement systems and, in collaboration with DU’s library and intellectual technology department, chose to replace CourseMedia with Artstor, an image database to which the library already subscribed.