Following a two-year process, the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has recently digitized, archived and made available 3,000 digital images of religious themes.
The images which can be accessed at http://relarchive.byu.edu/im_coll/ come from a compilation of personal collections of BYU religion faculty and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Educational System faculty on the BYU campus.
The idea for the digitizing and archiving photos in the library's digital collection came from the faculty in Religious Education at BYU.
"They wanted to share their photos with their students and each other, so we suggested the project," said Scott Eldredge, program manager for digital initiative.
Pictures on the Web site include everything from the Sea of Galilee to mustard seeds, which faculty have collected and used in religious lessons. Anyone with Internet access now has the ability to copy and download the pictures for personal use.
"I'm excited about the practical applications for such a broad audience," said Cali O'Connell, an administrative assistant at the Harold B. Lee Library. "Seminary teachers, Church members and just about anyone can use the pictures for lessons."
In addition to the images, the Web site includes information, scriptures and stories that accompany each picture. A user can type in a scripture or theme on the search engine on the Web site. Just seconds later, the website will produce pictures and information for the search.
"My favorite part about the Web site are the stories attached to the metadata," Annalee Zeidner, the graphic Web designer for the project, said. "Each picture has a story attached to it. For example, the pictures of the prophets have stories with them, and it's fun to read all the things about the prophets you may not have known."
Since a broad audience will use the Web page, the project team wanted to ensure it appealed to all levels of users.
"From the tech-savvy user down to someone who has never urfed the Web before, all computer users will find the site to be really accessible and user-friendly," Zeidner said.
"The Web site includes really fascinating pictures that are now available to a worldwide audience instead of just the professors and students in Religious Education," said Zeidner. "The pictures are now available for personal research."
For more information, contact Cali O'Connell at (801) 422-6770.
Writer: Liesel Enke