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Blog Category: Case study

July 1, 2020

Teaching and research with Artstor: 25 examples

Over the years, educators, librarians, and researchers at all levels, from secondary schools to graduate programs, have shared with us how they use Artstor in their teaching and research. We’ve gathered some of our favorites here, touching on topics as varied as medicine, ethnic studies, women’s studies, and more.

Would you like to share how you use Artstor? Leave a comment and we’ll follow up!

Unknown | Howard University students picket the National Crime Conference; Dec-1934 |Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Unknown photographer. Howard University students picket the National Crime Conference, December 1934. Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Washington’s secret city: cultural capital
Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

Race, identity, and experience in American art
Dr. Jennifer Zarro, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

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March 16, 2017

Addressing the unaddressed: Tuskegee University’s Hidden Audio Collections, 1957-1971

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at the TCA meeting, 1957. Courtesy of the Tuskegee University Archives, P.H. Polk Collection, 2017.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at the TCA meeting, 1957. Courtesy of the Tuskegee University Archives, P.H. Polk Collection, 2017.

Tuskegee University Archives recently released new recordings from the Tuskegee Civic Association records that feature prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. These speeches, addressing the Tuskegee community, fill in historical gaps to illuminate the relationships between leaders and their constituents.

The collection was digitized from reel-to-reel tape under the care of university archivist Dana Chandler and made available through funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Council of Independent Colleges. The recordings are freely available to listen to in Artstor’s public collections.

Artstor staff members Evan Towle and Karyn Anonia spoke with Chandler about his work.

ET: First, can you speak a little about your history with the Archives at Tuskegee?

DC: I’m in my eleventh year. I’d first visited in 1972—my parents brought us down here to see Carver’s laboratory, and I fell in love with the place then. I did not ever expect to work here. The opportunity kind of fell into my lap, and I have been able to, I think, develop the Archives into a viable place for researchers to come from the US and all around the world to work on the materials to fill in some blanks that have been evident for a long time about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the history of Tuskegee as a whole, as well as the work of African Americans, how successful they really were during the time of Jim Crow Laws and laws of segregation.

When you think about Tuskegee, you think about George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington. You think about the Tuskegee Airmen, and maybe something called the Syphilis Study, which did not happen here on the campus. But it is much more than those things. The first Extension Agent to the US Federal Government came from Tuskegee—not just the first black agent, but the first Extension Agent came from Tuskegee University—the first African American Hospital in Alabama; the first school to offer a four-year degree in nursing in Alabama; the first African American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics, Alice Coachman Davis, went to Tuskegee. And believe me, I could go on and on ad nauseam about the stuff that’s here.

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June 30, 2016

STEM to STEAM: The Anatomy of Design

We are introducing a new resource featuring more than 75 images on the topic of biomimicry. Find it in the Artstor Digital Library’s Teaching Resources area: Teaching Resources > Case Studies > STEM to STEAM > Stem to Steam: The Anatomy of Design

Title: Flying Man, Model of Leonardo's Invention; Image ID: SCAL

After Leonardo da Vinci; original design: c. 1488; Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnica “Leonardo da Vinci”. Image and original data provided by (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.;;

Throughout history we have looked to nature to define and devise systems of design. Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man embodies the dominance of the concept of anthropomorphic balance during the Renaissance. The perfect proportions of man are contained within the ideal geometric shapes of the square and the circle, as if the artist had given graphic proof to the metaphysical declaration of the Greek philosopher Protagoras: man is the measure of all things. Consider our units of measurement, such as the foot and the cubit (from the Latin for forearm) established by the ancients, the braccio (Italian for arm), the pouce (French for thumb, meaning inch), whereby mathematical ratios in architecture were based on the proportions of the human figure.

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June 16, 2016

Case study: Medieval Portland

Anne McClanan, Professor of Medieval Art History at Portland State University and one of the winners of the Artstor Digital Humanities Awards, introduces us to Medieval Portland and describes the impact Shared Shelf [now JSTOR Forum] has had on the project.

Medieval Portland? We hope our project’s silly name is just perplexing enough to make people want to learn more—who wouldn’t assume there is no medieval Portland?

When I moved to Oregon after years of medieval art history graduate training at more resource-intensive places, Harvard and Johns Hopkins, I worried whether I’d be able to continue the teaching grounded in first-hand observation and investigation of works of art that I think is central to the practice of art history. I plunged into the task of trying to figure out what medieval material was here, and gradually discovered several hundred items in collections across the Portland area (the number varies depending on how generously we want to define “medieval,” and we often reach into the early modern period).

Running since 2005, our site has gone through several iterations, but by far the biggest change has been our recent transition to Shared Shelf. Our Shared Shelf collection’s defining feature is that Medieval Portland presents original research pursued by students alongside that by advanced scholars. The students doing the research are from across my university, for I teach the course as a community based learning senior capstone within Portland State University’s nationally-recognized University Studies program. The Medieval Portland capstone provides students opportunities to critically engage with the past as well as to then produce resources that allow these objects to become better known and understood to the wider community. The capstone students soon realize that history isn’t an edifice to be committed to memory, but instead is an act of inquiry into the meaning of the past.

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May 16, 2016

Case study: Documenting bastides, France’s medieval market towns

Editor’s note: this post was updated to reflect Artstor’s platform changes.
John Reps, Monpazier

John Reps, Monpazier, 1951 (founded 1284)

In the 13th century, southwestern France gave birth to several hundred new planned towns, partly to replace villages destroyed in the Albigensian Crusades and partly to revivify a stagnating economy and tame areas of wilderness¹. Some were designed as fortress communities, while others were laid out as simple agricultural villages. The great majority, however, had a different function. Known as bastides, they were created as market towns with the aim of concentrating the population in secure places for ease of administration while returning a profit to their sponsors. Their founders were the great feudal lords of the region: kings, dukes, counts, and viscounts.

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May 3, 2016

Case study: JSTOR Forum in the K-12 environment

Editor’s note: this post has been updated to reflect the name change from Shared Shelf to JSTOR Forum.

We invited Lisa Laughy, Web Services/Archives Assistant at St. Paul’s School’s Ohrstrom Library in Concord, New Hampshire to tell us about her experience as the first K-12 subscriber to JSTOR Forum (formerly called Shared Shelf), Artstor’s digital media management system.

When I first started looking at software for cataloging our archives photo collection back in 2010, I remember wishing I could find a solution that was just like Artstor – something that combines both a visually rich user experience with the sophistication of professional metadata standards. It took a few years, but it was as if the folks at Artstor read my mind and made my wish come true, when in the fall of 2015 our school was given the opportunity to be one of the first high schools to implement Shared Shelf.

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March 23, 2016

Case study: Preserving and sharing a school’s rich history

Editor’s note: this post was updated to include current information about Artstor’s platform for public collections.
Nursing Program Students, 1949. Courtesy of Santa Rosa Junior College Archives.

Nursing Program Students, 1949. Courtesy of Santa Rosa Junior College Archives.

At the end of 1917, the Federated Home & School Association of Santa Rosa sent a recommendation to the local Board of Education to form a junior college. The following fall, Santa Rosa Junior College offered its first classes at the Santa Rosa High School. Its student body numbered only 19, with eight educators. It would take another 13 years before the College could boast a faculty of its own.

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August 25, 2015

Teaching with Artstor: case studies

case study

Keri Cronin’s “Picturing Animals” case study

Looking for ideas on how to integrate images in your teaching? Curious about how your colleagues are using Artstor? Check out Artstor’s case studies! Composed of the Artstor Travel Awards-winning essays and image groups, the case studies describe the creative ways subscribers in all disciplines are using the Artstor Digital Library in their teaching, research, and scholarship.

browseWe’ve recently made the case studies more accessible. Simply click on the Teaching Resources link under the Browse section in the Digital Library homepage and you’ll find them organized by topic. (If you’re visiting Artstor on your phone or tablet, you’ll find the case studies under Global Folders.)

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February 11, 2015

Announcing the Artstor Digital Humanities Awards Winners

Benin, Bronze bell. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

Artstor is proud to announce the three winners of the Digital Humanities Awards: Historic Dress (Smith College), Medieval Portland (Portland State University), and Sacred Conflicts: Religious Violence in Comparative Perspective (Northern Illinois University). The winners will each receive full access to Artstor’s Shared Shelf digital media management software for five years to upload, catalog, manage, store, and share their projects.

The Artstor Digital Humanities Awards were created to recognize the importance of the Digital Humanities and help the project leaders, Shared Shelf staff, and the greater community learn about issues associated with supporting the most innovative and intellectually stimulating projects in the field. They reflect Artstor’s mission to enhance scholarship and teaching through the use of digital media.

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October 1, 2014

Deadline for the Digital Humanities Awards is approaching!

Byron Company, Sports, Field Sports, Manhattan Field, 1896. Museum of the City of New York.

Byron Company, Sports, Field Sports, Manhattan Field, 1896. Museum of the City of New York.

Reminder: The deadline for Artstor’s Digital Humanities Awards is October 15, 2014.

The award aims to facilitate the most innovative and intellectually stimulating projects in the field. Winners will receive five years’ free access to Shared Shelf, Artstor’s digital media management software, to upload, catalog, manage, store, and share their project.

To enter, simply describe your Digital Humanities project in 1,000 words or less.

Full rules and application instructions at

Winners will be announced in early December.

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