Students using slides

February 2, 2017, by Matt Davies

The Slide Librarians: team news & competition time.

Slide Team news

Students using slidesRegular readers of Digital Dialogues will recall that in June 2016 I wrote about the DHC Volunteers Slide Team and their projects and plans. Well this academic year Sanchari, Marina and Tristan have been joined by even more slide enthusiasts; welcome aboard Rachel, Darcie, Bethan, Nisha, Kay, Alex and Ranait!

With the old hands taking a lead, the new team have made amazing progress with ‘weeding’ the collection –that is removing duplicates or degraded slides (they tend to go pink or blue) This has already created space in the collection and the integration of the Classics Collection is well underway. In fact there are already eight drawers full of previously unavailable Classics slides now in place, and available for perusal. It’s an eclectic collection which includes images of sites, cities, maps, paintings, statuary, busts, reliefs, coins, mosaics and much more from- quite literally- all over the Ancient world.

The Classics drawers are immediately recognisable by their bright orange labels but just ask any of the staff or volunteers on duty and they will be happy to point you in the right direction.

The History of the slide collection and plans for the future.

In late November last year History of Art lecturer Professor Nicholas Alfrey met with the team in the DHC and talked to them about the history and development of the collection which dates back to the 1950s. Nick spoke about the way in which the collection was built and managed and about how the relatively recent and radical –yet little noted -shift from slides to digital images in lectures has altered the way History of Art is taught in Universities.

A written version of Nick’s fascinating talk will be posted soon on History of Art’s blog so look out for that. In the meantime, his meeting with the team has already helped to provide a historical and intellectual context for some of the Slide Team’s plans for 2017 which include an exhibition and major digitisation project. Watch this space!

Competition time!

Meanwhile we are introducing DHC’s first ever competition ‘Inspiring Slides’ and are inviting Arts staff and students to choose a slide from the collection–any slide will do –and write a response to it, we will publish the best efforts here on Digital Interactions. It may be a memory recalled by the slide or an immediate response in the form of a story, poem or even art work (we will post those on our Flickr page as well as here) or perhaps an examination or interpretation of the image. Prose need not be long, three or four paragraphs, 500 words is about average.

If you cannot think of a particular image but fancy having a go at being inspired by slides, there is a selection chosen exclusively by the DHC team on Lightbox one in the DHC. Choose an image, scan or take it away and let your imagination run wild!

Send all entrees to

To get you started, volunteer Jamie Shakespeare has written a piece on a slide that caught his eye Picasso’s Le Guéridon (The Pedestal Table) – 1913/1914 which will appear on this blog in the next week or so.

Slides may be taken from DHC but must be booked out via a member of DHC staff at the front desk. Don’t forget DHC has the technology to scan slides (copyright law allowing) creating digital versions – please ask for help.

Posted in DTH Volunteers