ARTstor and the University of Michigan collaborate to digitize the Asian Art Photographic Distribution

In May 2005, ARTstor and the University of Michigan announced a partnership through which they would make available digital versions of many of the images previously distributed by the University of Michigan’s non-profit slide distribution service. The collaboration focused initially on the ACSAA Color Slide Project, which was digitized in partnership with the American Council for Southern Asian Art. ARTstor recently announced the completion of this project and the inclusion of more than 12,000 ACSAA Color Slide Project images in the ARTstor Digital Library. These images have significantly enriched ARTstor’s holdings in the South Asian art, complementing the related materials from the Huntington Archive of Asian Art.

ARTstor and the University of Michigan are now collaborating to digitize the majority of the slides from another important archive at the University of Michigan’s Department of the History of Art: the archive associated with Asian Art Photographic Distribution, which focuses on the art of East Asia.

Areas strongly represented in the archive include Chinese painting, sculpture, bronzes and ceramics, Central Asian Art, and Japanese painting. Many of the objects represented in the archive are richly documented with details. Most of these materials were documented in connection with thematic exhibitions, and the archive accordingly draws on both important permanent collections from a range of museums as well as important loan exhibitions.

Asian Art Photographic Distribution was established in 1970 as an outgrowth of the Palace Museum Photographic Archive from the National Palace Museum, Taiwan. Following the successful completion of the distribution of Palace Museum photographs and slides in the 1960s, the committee agreed to establish a similar distribution of materials from other important collections of the art of East Asia: Asian Art Photographic Distribution (AAPD). In 1978 AAPD broadened its scope to include the documentation of Japanese paintings in traveling exhibitions, and private and public collections.

The more than 9,500 images in this collection will be made available to ARTstor users in the course of 2007.

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