After six years as HART’s Director of the Visual Resources Center (and master chef on pancake days), Chris Strasbaugh recently left Vanderbilt for Ohio State University, where he will serve as the Digital Resource Archivist and Curator within the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.
“It is with great regret that I accepted the resignation of Christopher Strasbaugh, our Director of Visual Resources,” said Kevin Murphy, department chair. “Over the course of the years he has been with us, Chris has overseen our transition to digital teaching and helped all of us to integrate digital images and other computer-based technologies into our classroom presentations and research. Although we will seriously miss Chris, we wish him the best of luck in his exciting new position at Ohio State.”
While at Vanderbilt, he led the development of a free, open-source cataloging and digital asset management system—DIMLI (Digital Media Management Library)—developed for digital humanities professionals to catalog and describe cultural objects. In addition to supporting HART faculty, staff, and students with classroom technologies and disseminating up-to-date information about useful trends in technology and software, he cultivated collaborations across the university to share and exchange resources and ideas.
“Chris is a tremendous leader—kind, patient, creative, encouraging, and ever positive (the list goes on and on!),” said Ginger Smith, a former Vanderbilt colleague. “As one of his assistant curators for several years, I found myself eager to get to work every day. The working environment that he intentionally creates strongly contributed to my high level of job satisfaction. I know Vanderbilt will miss his sunny presence.”
In his new role as archivist and curator, Chris will oversee the archives containing blueprints, models, and designs from the past hundred years for the Knowlton School’s three academic sections: architecture, landscape architecture, and the newest addition, city and regional planning. He also will work with students and alumni to showcase their work in exhibits. Each section offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study to a combined student population of nearly 900 students.
Active in the VRA (Visual Resources Association) as a conference presenter and panelist, Chris was elected to a two-year term as vice president of conference programming (2015-2017). As a VRA board member, he had a major role in planning the joint ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America) + VRA conference held in Seattle this year. He is returning to Vanderbilt on June 2-3 to participate in a symposium entitled “Cultural Heritage at Scale,” which is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt Libraries, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He will address “Linked Open DIMLI: Why the Semantic Web Matters for Cultural Heritage.”
Early last summer he did archaeological fieldwork as a photographer for the Greek-American Excavations near the ancient harbor of Kenchreai, the eastern port of Corinth, in southern Greece. He and his wife Leah will return to the excavation site for two weeks in June to continue their work with Joseph Rife, Associate Professor of Classical Studies.
Chris is, in a sense, returning home. A native of Ohio, his roots are firmly planted there. Chris builds bridges wherever he goes, and he will be greatly missed by faculty, staff, and students alike here in Cohen and across the University. Thank you, Chris, for these past six years. Although we are sad that you will no longer be with us, we know your new position at Ohio State holds great promise for you and most importantly, that you will be much closer to your Ohio families.