Visual Resources Association Foundation announces 2018 Project Grant recipient

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to present the 2018 VRAF Project Grant in the amount of $3000 to James Sobczak, Digital Imaging Assistant II, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

The University of Washington has more than 81 Collections with over 250,000 digital assets depicted from its Special Collections in CONTENTdm. The University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design’s Visual Services Department oversees their in-house MDID Collection, ARTstor, and UW Image Bank. The VRAF Project Grant will allow University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design to digitize a collection donation of 26,800+ 35mm slides from Patricia Young, which will provide a stipend to graduate student employees. The graduate student employees will work 4.5 hours per week for an estimated 40 weeks with software and technology provided by the University of Washington and UW’s School of Art + Art History + Design. The graduate students will be spearheaded by three University of Washington team members with project management and supervisory role experiences. The PYC Collection will be housed in their MDID collection, which crosswalks with CONTENTdm for further outreach to researchers worldwide. This project will also allow the PYC Collection graduate student workers to improve upon the GIS linking of images, network mapping of metadata, and semantic query integration. In accordance with its mission to support broad access to visual information, the VRAF is pleased to support a project that extends digitization and dissemination of visual culture into expanded fields of inquiry.

Betha Whitlow: Recipient of the 2018 VRA Distinguished Service Award

betha_dsa_2018The Awards Committee of the Visual Resources Association is delighted to announce that Betha Whitlow, visual resources curator at Washington University in St. Louis, is the 2018 recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. She was nominated for this award by Maureen Burns, Meghan Musolff, and Marlene Gordon. Betha has just stepped down as a member of the Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation after serving two terms from 2014-2018. As a director, Betha developed and implemented the VRA Foundation’s highly successful Regional Workshop program. From 2010 to 2013 she served as a co-chair of the ARLIS/NA-VRA Summer Educational Institute (SEI). Betha is a committed advocate for educational initiatives that support visual resources professionals.

The remarks of her nominators, Meghan Musolff and Maureen Burns, as well as Betha’s acceptance comments are now online at:

Visual Resources Association Foundation awards Kress Foundation Grant for the 2017-2018 Internship Award

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) awards the 2017-2018 the Samuel H. Kress Foundation funded internship award to Maria Nuccilli, who will work at the Scarab Club of Detroit under the direction of Ashley Hennen of the Scarab Club; she will also collaborate with the Digital Media Projects Lab in the School of Information Sciences at Wayne State University.


VRAF News & Events, Monday, March 13, 2017

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to present the 2017 VRAF Project Grant in the amount of $3000 to Stephanie Norby, Director, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA), Washington, DC.

The Smithsonian Institution has digitized more than 2 million of the objects and artifacts in its collections, and is a leader in management and 3D modeling of these collections. The Smithsonian Learning Lab ( is a new platform for accessing these digital resources, and includes tools for creating teaching collections using these resources. The SCLDA is working with both teachers and Smithsonian curators to create collections using the Learning Lab so that educators and their students can benefit and learn from the Smithsonian collections no matter where they live. The first Learning Lab projects involved collaborations with history and art teachers. The VRAF Project Grant will allow SCLDA to expand the Learning Lab to include digitized resources from the Smithsonian’s vast science collections. The grant will provide a stipend to a high school anthropology teacher, who will work during the summer of 2017 with a Smithsonian anthropology curator in order to create at least five vetted teaching collections that reflect both the strengths of the Smithsonian’s science collections and the pedagogical needs of secondary educators. This pilot project will also allow SCLDA to explore the process of creating science-based collections and to develop a series of best practices for the development of future digital science instructional resources. In accordance with its mission to support broad access to visual information, the VRAF is pleased to support a project that extends digitization and dissemination of visual culture into expanded fields of inquiry.

The VRAF Project Grant Program reflects the broad mission of the VRAF to advance knowledge in the field of visual resources and image management and to provide educational and training opportunities in support of broad access to visual information in the digital age.


The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for its VRAF Professional Development Grant program. This program offers two $850 grants yearly, one with a fall deadline and another in the spring. The purpose of the Grant is to support professional development in the field of visual resources and cultural heritage information management. Grant funds can be used to participate in a professional development opportunity of the grantee’s choosing (such as a conference, symposium, workshop, online education), or to enroll in relevant research activities (such as hands-on field work or a site visit for scholarly purposes).  For consideration, please submit your application for the fall grant no later than September 16, 2016. If you have any questions about the VRAF Professional Development Grant or the application process, and to submit your application, please contact Betha Whitlow, The recipient of the fall 2016 VRAF Professional Development Grant will be announced by October 7, 2016, and the award money must be used before October 7, 2017. Please visit this page for a full description of the grant, including eligibility, acceptable uses of funds, and a complete list of past recipients.

Past recipients include Anne Young, Manager of Rights and Reproductions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to attend the 2013 American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) Legal Issues in Museum Administration course. Her attendance was crucial in the production of Rights & Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions, an indispensable resource. About the grant, Anne wrote, “The Grant funded a portion of my course tuition and associated travel costs to attend the program. It is my belief that this Grant was also a contributing factor to my receiving a partial-scholarship, half of the course tuition, from ALI CLE that further supported my attendance… Without my attendance at ALI CLE’s LIMA and the VRAF’s Grant support, I would not have been able to make the vital connections to make the Handbook contributors and legal review panelists as robust as they are today.” The Handbook is now available and can be downloaded from the American Alliance of Museums’ website. 


Visual Resources Association Foundation Internship Award

2016-2017 Information & Application Procedures

Award Description

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Internship Award provides financial support for graduate students preparing for a career in visual resources and image management. The award grants $4,000 to support a period of internship in archives, libraries, museums, visual resources collections in academic institutions, or other appropriate contexts. The recipient will receive a stipend of $3,000 for 200 hours completed at the host site. A professional development component of $1,000 supports conference attendance or attendance at the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will receive a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Who May Apply

Students currently enrolled in, or having completed within the last 12 months, a graduate program in library or information science, art history, architectural history, architecture, visual or studio art, museum studies, or other applicable field of study may apply for this award. Applicants must have completed at least 10 credits of their graduate coursework before the application deadline, or demonstrate an equivalent combination of coursework and relevant experience.

Internship Description

Only one VRAF Internship is awarded per year. Priority will be given to applicants who submit projects that support art historical research and scholarship. Although the award recipient need not hold US citizenship or be a permanent resident of the US, the recipient must select an institution in the United States to act as host for the internship. This institution must be approved by the VRAF Internship Award Committee. VRAF and VRA are not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution, but will gladly assist with the process. An up to date list of host institutions can be found here.

This Internship Award will be granted for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The intern is required to work on site at their chosen host institution for a minimum of 200 hours. The intern will choose to initiate their internship in the fall of 2016 or the winter or spring of 2017. The internship must begin within 30 days of the official beginning of the selected academic session of the participant’s home institution and be completed within one academic semester or two academic quarters. Exceptions are allowed by agreement between the selected intern and the VRAF Internship Awards Committee. In all cases, the internship must be completed within twelve months of the recipient being notified of the award.

The intern and the internship supervisor will complete brief evaluations of the internship experience. This report must be received by the VRAF Internship Committee by March 1, 2017.

The VRAF Internship Award will provide a stipend of $3,000.00 to the intern. Half of the award will be granted prior to the internship, with the remainder granted upon completion of the internship and receipt of a letter to the Chair of the VRAF Internship Committee signed by the internship supervisor and the intern stating that the 200 hours have been completed. If the recipient is not a US citizen, the VRAF is required by the IRS to withhold a percentage of this award.

A professional development component of $1,000 is available to support attendance at the national VRA conference, other appropriate conferences, or the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts and documentation.  The award recipient will be formally recognized during the Awards ceremony at the VRA conference.

The recipient will receive a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Interns may have the option of receiving academic credit for the internship as part of their graduate course work but will be responsible for making those arrangements themselves.

How to Apply

To apply for the award, please submit the following:

  1. A current resume.
  2. A current transcript [this does not need to be issued directly from the institution].
  3. An essay of up to 400 words addressing the applicant’s professional goals, learning expectations of the internship experience, and any skills or background that might benefit visual resources. A brief clear description of the proposed project is required.
  4. The names of two professional or scholastic references with address, telephone numbers, and email addresses.
  5. Host institution and contact information of internship supervisor.

Application materials in electronic form are preferred and should be submitted as a single PDF file to:
Margaret Webster
Visual Resources Consultant
Phone: 607-257-3365

Host Institutions

Responsibility for institutional selection will remain with the award recipients rather than the VRAF. The Internship Award Committee is not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution but will gladly assist in the process. To help with this process, VRA’s Visual Resources Emerging Professionals and Students (VREPS) have compiled anongoing list of institutions willing to host an intern.

Note to potential host institutions: You are invited to add your information to the VREPS Internship Award Host Sites by sending an email to Amy Lazet (alazet@COLLEGEFORCREATIVESTUDIES.EDU) with the following information: institution name, contact person, address, telephone, email, URL, and a brief description of the internship.

Deadlines for 2016 to 2017

  • 7/31/2016; Deadline for submission of applications to the VRAF Internship Award Committee.
  • 8/21/2016; VRAF Internship Award Committee announces the award recipient for 2016-2017.

The deadline for submission of evaluation forms and documents by the intern and the host institution will be within 30 days of the completion of the internship. The evaluation reports for a recipient who elects to complete the internship during the spring semester or quarter must be received by March 1, 2017. The remaining documents verifying the completion of the internship may be submitted later.

Monies from the Internship Award may not be used to cover indirect costs at institutions.

Additional Information

For additional information please contact the Committee Chair:
Margaret Webster
Visual Resources Consultant
Phone: 607-257-3365


The Visual Resources Association Foundation is delighted to announce a second year of funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in support of its regional workshop program. Following the success of the pilot program’s first year, this grant will support several workshops organized by the VRAF and host institutions, to be held later in 2016 and in early 2017. The Kress Foundation’s generous funding will also greatly assist with the VRAF’s ultimate goal of making this program self-sustaining.

The VRAF regional workshop program provides an immersive experience on single topics, framed in a manner that is relevant to image management professionals, image users, and the broader information community. Two workshops were held in 2016: “Exhibit, Instruct, Promote: An Introduction to Omeka for Digital Scholarship” at Hunter College, City University of New York and “Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy” at University of California, Berkeley.

To continue to improve and expand the program, the VRAF has convened a regional workshops working group that includes VRAF Directors Betha Whitlow, Steven Kowalik, and Ian McDermott; Anna Bernhard, Director, Stanley G. Wold Visual Resource Center and Library, Colorado State University; Maureen Burns, IMAGinED Consultant; Marlene Gordon, Visual Resources Curator at University of Michigan, Dearborn; and Shyam Oberoi, Director of Technology and Digital Media, Dallas Museum of Art. This diverse group is dedicated to ensuring that the regional workshops provide a high-quality and stimulating educational experience in the management of images and cultural heritage information, while reaching its broadest possible audience.

The Kress grant programs support scholarly projects that promote the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of European Art from antiquity to the early 19th century. We are grateful to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for their generous support of this important new opportunity.