Visual Resources Center
The Visual Resources Center (VRC) creates and maintains continuously expanding digital image collections as part of Reed Digital Collections. These materials support the daily teaching and ongoing research of visual culture across the Reed curriculum.
Digital Resources Specialist
The Visual Resources Center is located in room L42 on the Lower Level of the Reed College Library. Reach us on Lower Level 1 (LL1) by using staircase D to the left of the main entrance in the library’s lobby, or take the elevator (to LL1) at the left of the Circulation Desk.
For off campus access to these collections, see proxy setup instructions.
Consult the following resource guides for any questions concerning how to use, locate, or cite images in your research:
Visual Resources Collection and CONTENTdm Copyright and Collection Development Policy
With the exception of some items that have passed into the public domain, materials in the Visual Resources Collection and CONTENTdm are copyrighted. The following policy outlines how images are acquired, and how they may be used by students, faculty, and staff at Reed.
Acquisition of visual resources falls into several categories: purchase and license, donation, and scanning or copystand photography.
Purchasing and licensing: When a commercially produced image of acceptable quality is available, we will purchase, license, or otherwise legally acquire, the following in developing permanent archives of images:
- Slides or digital files from museums, galleries or other such institutions
- Slides or digital files from vendors and image providers
- Original on-site photography produced for sale by professional or highly skilled photographers.
- Slides or digital files distributed on a free-use basis through recognized educational or professional institutions, organizations and consortia.
Gifts and donations: We are happy to add to the collection images taken by faculty, provided that the following criteria are met:
- Basic descriptive information (Title, Source, Location) is provided or can easily be researched
- Image size and quality meets collection standards
Copystand photography and scanning: We will accept requests for copystand photography of images in books or periodicals if no other source for the image is available at reasonable cost, or as a temporary measure to meet short-term curricular needs. Images created by copystand photography and scanning from published materials for inclusion in the permanent archive are subject to the following considerations:
- Images of suitable quality are not readily available at a reasonable cost and in a reasonable time from any of the options listed above.
- Images will not be shared between or among other educational institutions if such use is prohibited by the terms of their acquisition.
- Images will be used for comment, criticism, review, analysis, discussion, or other similar purpose associated with instruction or scholarship.
- Images will be used only for purposes that are both nonprofit and educational.
- In keeping with copyright limitations, digital images produced for the collection will not be used for study or research as a replacement for a copyrighted work (e.g. book from the which the digital images were derived).
- If the above conditions can be met, it is likely that making images and digital files from published materials will be within "Fair Use" as outlined in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.
Public Domain images (those in which neither the underlying work of art documented nor the photographic reproduction itself is subject to copyright) may be safely acquired by any appropriate means, including copystand photography or scanning. Use of such images is unrestricted.
Reed College Visual Resources Collection and CONTENTdm images are provided to support research, teaching and study and may be used for education purposes only. Reed College students, faculty, and staff may use images for in-class display, as well as academic presentations, papers, assignments, and senior theses.
Images must be properly attributed. Cite the source of the image as "Reed College CONTENTdm Digital Collections" and when available also add the statement "Courtesy of [individual/organization listed as Copyright Holder]" or "Public domain image". Unless an image's Copyright Holder is "public domain," uses other than those described above - such as inclusion in a published or commercial work or a non-Reed-password-protected website - may require permission from the copyright holder.
Some uses outside of the parameters outlined in this document may be considered “Fair Use” as outlined in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Such uses to be considered fair must be judged independently and individually, using the four-factor analysis described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. The four factors to be considered in determining if a use is a fair use are:
- purpose and character of the use;
- nature of the copyrighted work;
- amount and substantiality of the material used; and
- the effect on the market.
Note: A majority of the text in this document is based on the VRA Image Collection Guidelines, available at: