JAR (Olla) 0019 – CARLI Digital Collections Featured Image

From John Wesley Powell Collection of Pueblo Pottery (Illinois Wesleyan University) in CARLI Digital Collections.

This week’s Featured Image installment is a chorus of voices responding to this photograph of a pueblo ceramic cooking jar. Ellen and I invited people to take a look and tell us what they thought about it. Here are the results.

About the bird: Art and psychology major Miranda, 21, was confused by the “macaw,” which she didn’t associate with Native American art. Senior library specialist Patty, 60, thought the bird resembled a toucan. Three-year-old preschooler Liam identified the bird as a parrot (correctly, according to the image metadata).

The metadata describes the lines arching above the parrot as a “double rainbow band.” It speculates that the black rectangular symbol at the right framed by arcs symbolizes lightning. Melanie, a book conservator in her fifties, mused “I’d like to think that your ‘lightning’ is my rainbow.” Six-year-old Ian and Scott, an electrical engineer in his forties, both said the lightning-and-arc motif looked like an eyeball. Scott wondered “would it be comfortable if you had to carry it on your head?” John, a self-described “old librarian,” also commented on the jar’s functionality: “Someone obviously invested a lot of effort in the making of this, yet it was probably a container for everyday goods, such as water or foodstuffs.”

Two viewers remarked on the skillfulness of the photographic presentation. Ramona said the “blue backdrop and shadowing looks very professional.” Anne noted that “The lighting really complements and highlights the pottery itself, making it easy to distinguish the details and shape of the piece.”

Everyone viewing an item in a digital collection brings something different to it, has a different experience!

Compiled by Mary Rose, Metadata Librarian, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Ellen K. Corrigan, Assistant Professor, Cataloging Services, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University.

For more information about this and other CARLI Digital Collections, visit http://collections.carli.illinois.edu

To learn more about becoming part of CARLI Digital Collections and using CONTENTdm, see http://www.carli.illinois.edu/products-services/contentdm and http://wiki.carli.illinois.edu/index.php/Portal:CONTENTdm.