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The primary function of the Visual Resources Center at Vanderbilt University is the digitization and cataloging of works of art for use by History of Art faculty in classroom instruction and scholarly publication. After working for an extended period without a stable database in which to catalog all of these images, we decided to build our own. We created DIMLI (Digital Media Management Library)—a flexible yet powerful open-source cataloging tool that draws from rich vocabularies and is consistent with the most current data standards—not only to meet our own needs, but also to serve as a useful web-based option for other institutions.
Since rolling out the first iteration of DIMLI for beta testing in January of 2013, the VRC at Vanderbilt has been cataloging exclusively within this new interface. While DIMLI has undergone several cosmetic changes and has witnessed ever increasing functionality, the cataloging has remained consistent and data rich. We are eager to share our new tool with other institutions that find themselves in need of a high quality, cost free cataloging solution.
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