January 24, 2022

“Shared Shelf, the Next-Generation Art and Image Cataloging System, Goes Online”

From Harvard University Library:

Pictures say a thousand words, and Shared Shelf, the Library’s latest image cataloging tool, captures them all. The over 4 million images in the Library’s collections should now be even more discoverable through the use of Shared Shelf, which replaced Harvard’s proprietary system OLIVIA last month.

Shared Shelf grew out of a collaboration between nine institutions and ARTstor in response to the growing use of, demand for and importance of visual objects in library collections. Harvard was one of the earliest participants in the project, and much of the functional design grew out of the experience and expertise of the Library’s image catalogers and Library Technology Services (LTS) staff members.


The collections of over 39 repositories were successfully migrated to Shared Shelf and users from 12 repositories have begun to catalog images of all types from their collections. The DRS remains the image storage and delivery system, and VIA is the patron-facing image catalog—Shared Shelf acts as the bridge between the items and the search function. LTS will continue to support OLIVIA until it is decommissioned in the summer.

Read the Complete Article

Shared Shelf Partners

See Also: List of Shared Shelf Subscribers

See Also: Shared Shelf Wiki

See Also: Project Updated: Shared Shelf (April 1, 2014)

See Also: ARTstor Shared Shelf Initiative: A Networked Image Management Platform (via CNI Fall 2009 Meeting)

See Also: Shared Shelf Grant Announcement (via Mellon Foundation)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.