As we close out 2012 and get ready to welcome in the New Year, ARAS has so much to celebrate that we want to share with you. Great things are happening at ARAS.

Over the past several months, we have been in discussions with ARTstor. ARTstor is a non-profit initiative, founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning in the arts and associated fields. ARTstor is a fabulous resource that has hundreds of thousands of digital images and related data, along with the tools to actively use those images.

ARAS is entering into a new relationship with ARTstor that will benefit both organizations without in any way altering the unique and separate identity of either one. In our new arrangement, ARAS subscribers will gain access to ARTstor's vast library of images and ARTstor will include ARAS' unique collection of images and commentary on archetypal symbolism in its prestigious selection of archival collections that are made available to non-profit institutions around the world. This relationship will unfold in two steps over the next year.

The first step, which we will be rolling out at the beginning of 2013, will enable all of the individual subscribers of ARAS Online to have free access to the vast resources of ARTstor. For licensing reasons, this privilege will only be available to individual subscribers to ARAS, not to institutional subscribers to ARAS. Of course, we hope this new ARAS access to ARTstor will be an incentive to those of you who enjoy receiving the free subscription to ARAS Connections to consider become paying subscribers to ARAS Online which will give you the huge bonus of having access to ARTstor.

The second phase of our new relationship with ARTstor will begin later in 2013 when all of the institutional subscribers to ARTstor will have access to ARAS Online. The ARAS approach to archetypal imagery is absolutely unique and we at ARAS have long sought a way in which to make our approach to images and symbols more accessible to a world of scholars, students, artists, and dreamers.

In addition to entering into a new relationship with ARTstor, ARAS Online is undertaking a major transformation of itself in terms of our front-end design (what you see and use) and our back-end technology (what makes what you see work). We first went to the drawing boards to plan the construction of ARAS Online in 2001 and launched the site in July, 2005. In the world of internet technology, a decade is as long as a century by any other historical measurement of time. In the past year, we have been planning our next ARAS Online incarnation in terms of its look and functionality. This will be unfolding in the coming year. Dyad Communications of Philadelphia, a design, company, is taking the lead in the front end transformation and John Kyle, a computer “guru”, is creating the architecture for the back end which will tremendously enhance our ability to flexibly organize, search and expand our core content.

Perhaps there is no better way to celebrate these creative developments in ARAS' relationship to the world and its own evolution than with an issue of ARAS Connections devoted to exploring the relationship between poetry and imagery in two original articles--one, the Poetry Portal, a new feature of ARAS Online curated by Ellen Liberatori, and the other, a beautiful, timely exploration of the personal and political, the individual and archetypal by Naomi Lowinsky.

Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS