New and Improved Graphics Atlas Identification Pages

New Identifcation on Graphics Atlas

Graphics Atlas was officially launched in 2010. In 2012 IPI received a three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue work on the site. Our first initiative under the Mellon grant was to survey Graphics Atlas users in order to better understand how the site was used and what areas needed the most improvement. The answer to both questions was the Identification pages. In response IPI developed a new, methodological approach to identification and conducted a complete overhaul of the individual Identification pages based on this methodology. Each Identification page begins with an Overview, which provides a description of each process, common use dates, key identifying features, alternate names, and other information. Identifying characteristics of the process are described in detail in three categories: object, surface, and magnification. The Object View includes characteristics that can be observed with even illumination, such as the nature of the support and the image tone. The Surface View includes surface characteristics of sheen and texture which can be seen with specular or raking light. Magnification describes characteristics like image and layer structure which are best seen with magnification. Lastly, every process includes a Variations section that describes important variations of the process. 

Each process is illustrated with high-resolution images from the IPI study collection and is accompanied by text that describes the connections between chemistry, technology, materials, and the aesthetic characteristics shown, providing the user with an informed approach to identification. The result of this three-year project is a sophisticated and comprehensive web resource with a broad scope of didactic information on graphic processes far surpassing that of any other print or web publication.

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