John Taormina

Director, Visual Media Center, and Coordinator of Communications & Publications
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John began his career in the visual resources/image management profession in 1982. He has a B.A. and M.A. in art history as well as formal training in collections management. He has directed the image collections at George Washington University, Oberlin College, The Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan. Since 2000 he has been the Director of the Visual Media Center at Duke University. During the past twenty years he initiated the digital imaging programs in the art and art history image collections at The Ohio State University (1994), University of Michigan (1999), and Duke University (2001). As the Director of the Visual Media Center at Duke, he oversees all aspects of the digital and analog visual media collections (digital assets management, personnel, budget, facilities, user services, instruction), and also manages the department’s publication and communication program and our building’s exhibition spaces. John served for ten years as editor of the VRA Bulletin, the journal of the Visual Resources Association, the international organization of image media professionals. In addition to extensive involvement in publications and educational programs in image management, John is currently exploring and researching the use of images and metadata in the digital humanities and their support requirements.


The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Database

Visual Resources + Digital Humanities Facebook Group

Visual Resources + Digital Humanities WordPress Site

Publications & Presentations


The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily: A Database of Monuments and Sites. Project Director: Caroline Bruzelius; Project Managers: Paola Vitolo and Joseph C. Williams; Project Collaborators: Gabriella Cianciolo, Francesco Gangemi, Luciana Mocciola, Ruggero Longo, Alba Irollo; Metadata and Image Management Consultant: John J. Taormina; Technical Consultant and Database/Web Developer: David Tremmel.


Taormina, John J. and Mark Pompelia. When the Past Collides with the Present: Moving Beyond the Single Classroom Experience via Digital Technologies. Session Co-organizers. Annual Meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference, Durham, NC, October 2012.

Taormina, John J. “Digital Technologies and the Visual Arts: Reconfiguring Knowledge in the Digital Age,” in Making the Digital Humanities Visual: Opportunities and Case Studies, Annual meeting of the Visual Resources Association, Providence, RI, April 2013.

Taormina, John J. and Mark Pompelia. Enhancing Education Beyond the Classroom Experience via Digital Technologies, Session-Co-organizers. Annual meeting of the Visual Resources Association, Providence, RI, April 2013.

Taormina, John J. and Mark Pompelia. Connections and Transformations: New Technologies in the Arts and Humanities. Session Co-organizers. Annual Meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference, Greensboro, NC, October 2013.

Taormina, John J. The Politics of Change: Digital Humanities and the Visual Arts. Session organizer. Annual meeting of the Art Libraries Society of North America. Washington, DC, March 2014.

Taormina, John J. and Jenni Rodda. Cultural Heritage in a Computational Environment: Making the Digital Humanities Visual. Session Co-organizers. Annual meeting of the Visual Resources Association, Denver, CO, March 2015.

Ed Triplett

Lecturing Fellow in Art, Art History and Visual Studies
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Ed Triplett received a PhD in Art and Architectural History from the University of Virginia in 2015. He also has an MFA in 3D Modeling and Animation from Savannah College of Art and Design, and an MA in History & Museum Studies from the University of Delaware. His dissertation focused on fortress-monasteries and castles occupied by Iberia’s military-religious orders, and he continues pursuing his two main interests: medieval architecture and historical and cultural visualization. Ed teaches courses on historical mapping, medieval castles, and Gothic cathedrals. His publications include a chapter in Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology discussing historical uses of photogrammetry and 2D and 3D viewshed analysis, (2016) and an article for a special issue of Historical Geography discussing architectural projections of power and influence on medieval Iberia’s fluctuating frontier (2017). Ed originally came to Duke as a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow tasked with data curation for visual studies in 2015, and he continues to work with the Wired! Lab and other digital scholarship groups on campus. His collaborative digital project seeks to spatially reconstruct “The Book of Fortresses” – a bound collection of perspective drawings and plans of 58 castles on the border between the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain in 1509-1510.


Matthew Woodworth

Instructor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies


The Medieval Castle in Britain (First Year Seminar): Fortresses, Technology, and Power

The Medieval Castle in Britain (Special Topics)