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The Courtauld’s Witt and Conway Photographic Libraries: Two approaches to digitisation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 January 2020

Tom Bilson*
Affiliation:
Head of Digital Media, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand LondonWC2R 0RNUK Email: Tom.Bilson@courtauld.ac.uk
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Abstract

The Courtauld Institute of Art is two years into a digitisation project of the Witt and Conway photograph archives (in addition to other, smaller collections) – a massive project that will make accessible over three million images of works of art from these internationally important photo collections. This article looks closely at the digitisation project and in particular, at the small army of volunteers assembled to carry out the digitisation and how this element of public engagement is essential to the success of the project.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© ARLIS, 2020

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References

2. For more information about the collections see Bilson, Tom ‘Photographic Collections Survey’, June 2013. Unpublished, and available from the author as a PDF.

3. Witt, Robert Clermont, Sir, 1872–1952 ‘A Hobby That Grew Into A Great Library’ in: The Graphic, February 25, 1928.

4. Witt, Robert Clermont, Sir, 1872–1952. Catalogue of painters and draughtsmen represented in the Library of Reproductions of Pictures & Drawings. London, Privately printed, 1920.

5. https://picturae.com (accessed 11-11-2019)

6. Witt, Robert Clermont, Sir, 1872–1952 ‘A Hobby That Grew Into A Great Library’ in: The Graphic, February 25, 1928.

7. Conway, Martin, 1st Baron Conway of Allington 1856–1937 ‘Greece - Art Treasures menaced by War’ in: Country Life, 23 September 1916.

8. Further information about the history of the Conway Library may be found in: Lindy Grant, Lord Conway of the Kumbets in: British Art Journal, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p. 84; and Katharine Higgon, Biography of Martin Conway. Research Forum / Conway Library Project 2005. Available at: https://assets.courtauld.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/31144633/pa-bio-higgon1.pdf (accessed 11-11-2019)

9. https://connects.courtauld.ac.uk (accessed 11-11-2019)

10. https://www.heritagefund.org.uk (accessed 11-11-2019)

13. Comments from volunteers collected June 2019.

14. Cherry, Peyton, Journey Through Materiality - Communicating Familiarity and Distance in: Digital Media Blog. Available at: http://blog.courtauld.ac.uk/digitalmedia/2019/07/01/peyton-cherry-journey-through-materiality-communicating-familiarity-and-distance/ (accessed 11-11-2019)

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