Digitizing Reed

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded $450,000 to Reed through its Liberal Arts Grant Program. The goal of Reed’s project is to facilitate the use of digital images by faculty members and students. Computing and library staff members will create a centrally managed, flexible, and sustainable collection of digital images that is fully integrated into the curriculum, and is easily accessible in and out of the classroom. Additionally, Reed will share information about the digital collection with other institutions.

Since 1995, the college has secured five grants from regional and national foundations to improve teaching through technology.

Hum 110 demonstrates the pedagogical issues related to image use. About 20 faculty members in five departments team-teach the required first-year course. Lecture classes are large (389 students in fall 2005), and students also attend small faculty-led conferences in which they need access to course images. In the future, faculty members plan to expand the use of images across the humanities curriculum and to provide access to the images outside class.

Small colleges face special challenges in developing and managing digital collections. Commercial software does not always meet such teaching needs as full-screen, side-by-side projection. And not all systems enable students to create image sets with their own annotations and analysis.

Victoria Hanawalt, college librarian, and Martin Ringle, chief technology officer, will serve as project co-leaders. They will work closely with Marianne Colgrove, associate director of computing and information services, Dena Hutto, director of reference and instruction, and Karin Whalen, visual resources librarian.