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BCdia (Boston College Digital Images of Art)

BOSTON COLLEGE FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT VISUAL RESOURCES COLLECTION
Information for the BC Community

BCdia logo

Sign on to BCdia using your BC username & password


FAQs

What is BCdia?

How is BCdia different from ARTstor?

What's in BCdia?

How did you decide what images to acquire for BCdia?

How do I sign onto BCdia?

How may I use the images in BCdia?

How do I know which form of an artist's name to use when I'm searching in BCdia?

Some of the place names (cities, countries) in BCdia seem weird. How do I know what form of a place's name to search by?

How can I search by subject in BCdia?

I'm having trouble getting BCdia to display/operate properly on my computer.


What is BCdia?

BCdia is a collection of digital images of art objects and monuments. It is the product of a collaboration between the Fine Arts Visual Resources Collection, which provided the content (images and cataloging), and the Boston College University Library, which provided the hardware, software and technical expertise to make the images available to the entire university community. BCdia is no longer in development — the Library will be phasing out support for this collection in the near future — but for now you can still access the more than 2500 images, which include images from a set that covers major monuments and objects in the history of western art, a second set focusing more specifically on art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance, images of art and architecture in Rome, and works from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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How is BCdia different from ARTstor?

ARTstor is a subscription product, for which the Library pays an annual fee. The images (nearly one million of them) and data are stored remotely, on ARTstor's servers. The images and data in BCdia are stored on a server here at Boston College. The images are licensed from vendors who make them available on a perpetual basis (that is, we pay once for the right to store the image on our server in perpetuity), or made available for our perpetual use by rights-holders within the University (for instance, images photographed by faculty or staff). BCdia is a Boston College digital collection. Because it was developed locally, we had more control over the content of BCdia, and tailored it to the specific needs of our faculty and curriculum. With about 2500 images, BCdia is a far smaller collection than that offered by ARTstor.

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What's in BCdia?

We initially licensed several large sets of digital images to establish a collection with broad coverage as quickly as possible. The first was a survey of Western Art set, and the second more in-depth coverage of Italian Renaissance art. In 2004-05, several members of the Fine Arts faculty and staff contributed numerous images documenting the art and architecture of Rome. BCdia also includes over 100 images of works of art from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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How did you decide what images to acquire for BCdia?

Collection development was guided by the teaching needs of the Fine Arts faculty. Although we expect that many departments at Boston College will find the resource useful, BCdia's content was purchased and created at the departmental level, and is not intended to serve all the visual resources needs of all members of the University community.

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How do I sign onto BCdia?

Click on one of the "Access BCdia" links at the top or bottom of this page. Sign in using your BC credentials — the username and password you use to access library resources or Agora. "Institute" should read "Boston College Libraries."

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How may I use the images in BCdia?

Our licensing agreements stipulate that the images be used for teaching and study purposes at Boston College only.

Permitted Uses Prohibited Uses
  • Classroom teaching & presentations at Boston College
  • Private study & research
  • Isolated lectures or presentations at other institutions or conferences when the lecturer is presenting as a member of the Boston College faculty or student body
  • Regular teaching at an institution other than Boston College
  • Making images available to individuals outside of Boston College (for instance, by posting on a website that is not restricted to the BC community, or sending via email)
  • Publication (if you are interested in using any of the images in a publication, please contact the copyright holder or the Visual Resources Curator to learn how you can obtain the right to do so)

Please note that if we fail to comply with the license, licensors retain the right to revoke the license and require us to remove the licensed images from our server. If you have questions about permitted uses of the resource, please contact the Visual Resources Curator.

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How do I know which form of an artist's name to use when I'm searching in BCdia?

We use the preferred form of the artist's name from the Getty's Union List of Artist Names. For artists without an entry in ULAN, we try Grove Art Online (available through Oxford Art Online) as a secondary authority.

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Some of the place names (cities, countries) in BCdia seem weird. How do I know what form of a place's name to search by?

We use the preferred form of the place name from the Getty's Thesaurus of Geographic Names.

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How can I search by subject in BCdia?

Images in BCdia are not indexed for topical subject content (iconographical or pre-iconographical themes). You may have some luck using keyword searching on a word or words likely to be found in the title of a work depicting the subject in which you're interested.

The objects depicted in the images are, however, indexed by object type ("painting" or "palace"), and, as appropriate, by culture ("Minoan"), style ("Impressionist"), period ("Medieval") and nationality ("Italian"). The indexing terms we use are derived from the Getty's Art & Architecture Thesaurus. I maintain lists of the AAT form/genre terms used in BCdia.

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I'm having trouble getting BCdia to display/operate properly on my computer.

DigiTool, the software powering BCdia, runs best using the following browsers:

FOR COMPUTERS RUNNING WINDOWS

FOR MACINTOSH COMPUTERS

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Useful Links

Access BCdia

AAT form/genre subject terms used in BCdia

Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus

Getty Union List of Artist Names

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


Please direct questions about the Fine Arts Visual Resources Collection to: