Images of buildings are in a sense the raw material of architectural historians. Often when we think of our favorite historian we think of the slides she or he uses or the particular images that illustrate their texts. In the digital age, the production, archiving, circulation, presentation, and publication of images has profoundly changed, raising a whole new set of historiographic practices and questions. Access to images has been transformed and thereby so has the access they offer to buildings. Scholars can draw on an ever-expanding array of image sources from traditional archives, new collective upload sites for historians such as SAHARA, to public upload sites on the internet. The exchange of images between scholars is greatly facilitated, enabling new kinds of collegial debate. On the other hand, the expanding image field may be increasingly restrained by new kinds of copyright restriction. There is a quantum leap in the complexity of this debate when images are embedded in the buildings themselves, as when the SAH tags buildings in Chicago to reveal the history of the building to a web-enabled smart phone. The relationship between image and building is going through a transformation potentially as significant as the arrival of photography itself. These reviews monitor some of the key symptoms in this inevitable repositioning of the historian.
Research Article| September 01 2010
Introduction to Multimedia Reviews
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2010) 69 (3): 459.
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Introduction to Multimedia Reviews. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2010; 69 (3): 459. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2010.69.3.459a
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