Art Slide Library -- Collections

The Art Slide Library now focuses on scanning services and building a local digital image collection. Until recently, its acquisitions consisted of slides, photographs, printed reproductions, microfiche, reference books, and a few electronic resources to support the general needs of the Brown University community for visual materials pertaining to art and art-related subjects, including architecture and archaeology. Microfiche sets formerly located at the Art Slide Library are now in the Rockefeller Library. The analog collections of slides and photographs continue to be available for educational use.

The Brown University Library Instructional Image Collection

Brown's local collection of digital images is currently accessible in Luna Insight. In addition to the 3,500 images for which permissions or licenses have been obtained, another 27,000+ images scanned under "fair use" are available with a special login obtainable from ASL staff. New images are added weekly as requested by faculty. Each faculty member may, if desired, have a personal login that will access only the images s/he has requested.

By downloading a java client, the user has maximum capabilities offered by the software, which is also available on the web with restricted features. Printable guides for using Luna Insight are accessible at the above link, in addition to Help links within the software to the vendor's web site. One of the guides outlines the steps for downloading images for use in PowerPoint presentations. ASL staff will provide demonstrations of Luna Insight to individuals or small groups by appointment.

The Luna java client allows access to other free and subscription collections, which can be cross-searched with the local collection.

If the desired images are not found in Brown's local collection, they may be found in ARTstor, a large image database of more than half a million items, to which Brown subscribes. Demonstrations of ARTstor are also offered by ASL staff. The ARTstor online Help is excellent, but to get started, consult our local Help document.


Approximately 300,000 slides have been accumulated to date through purchases, gifts, and in-house photography from book plates. Vendors include museums, other institutions, commercial firms, and individual photographers. While the focus of the collection is art, architecture, and archaeology, the slides may be of use in many disciplines.

Physical arrangement of the slides follows a classification scheme unique to Brown. Patrons select from the collection directly, without consulting a catalog first. Slides and photos cataloged 1990-1998 can be searched in Anita. Caution: only approximately one-third of the collections' holdings are represented in this database. If you do not find what you are seeking, do come to the ASL or contact the staff by e-mail or telephone to inquire about your topic.

Photographs and Reproductions

Prior to the transition to digital images, the collection of photographs and reproductions primarily supported review displays for courses in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. It was also used also by faculty and students of the Department of Visual Arts as inspiration for studio projects. Faculty and/or students from other departments may use this resource for classroom teaching or consult it on site in the Art Slide Library. Of the approximately 38,000 items in the collection, many are unmounted but can be mounted on request before use. This collection uses the same classification as for slides, and a small portion of it is represented in Anita.

Reference Books

A small collection of reference books serves primarily as a resource for staff to use in cataloging. Patrons may consult it as well, on site only. All titles are in Josiah, and many are duplicated by circulating copies at the Rockefeller Library.