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Innovating art history: The story of an open source project that transformed teaching with images in higher education

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The Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) is a web application developed at James Madison University to facilitate teaching with digital images online and in the classroom. The development of MDID began in 1997, and it has since undergone two major revisions. The MDID both leverages a wide array of open source technologies and is itself shared freely under an open source licence. This paper examines the application itself and the challenges of developing and maintaining a large open source application at a university with limited software development resources. The MDID has been downloaded over 600 times and installed at over 100 institutions across the USA, Europe and Australia. It has arguably changed the way art history is taught on campuses across the USA.

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Keywords: DAM systems; art history; digital images; higher education; open source

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2014

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