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The mission of the slide department is to provide and maintain a collection of slide images appropriate for teaching the Ringling curriculum and to make that collection accessible to the faculty in useful ways. As such, it serves all the academic departments of the institution.
The slide department staff consists of the Slide/Visual Resources Librarian, the Library Technician I, one to two student workers, and volunteers. The Slide/Visual Resources Librarian administers overall operations while the Library Technician I manages the faculty request workflow and circulation. Students and volunteers work with one or both of these people on daily tasks and special projects.
The slide collection is accessible to Ringling College faculty and staff through the Ringling Slide Catalog Online. It may be searched by artist, title, media, subject, etc. to find the images they need. Browsing is also a popular way of finding slides. The collection is arranged alphabetically using artists last names and topics.
The slide collection itself numbers nearly 120,000. As one would expect, the predominant subject emphasis is the visual arts: however, history, religion and the sciences are also represented. The images that make up the collection are selected by both the faculty and slide department staff. Many slides are purchased from vendors but most are made in-house by photographing pictures from books. Once the slides are obtained they must be masked, mounted, labeled, cataloged, filed and ultimately circulated to the faculty. Adding to and caring for the collection takes up the majority of the staff's time.
Circulation of the slide collection is restricted to faculty; however, students may request slides for viewing in the library or use the collection under faculty supervision.
Future projects include making course study slides available through the library webpage and adding images to the slide collection database and making that also available through the library webpage.