Digitisation - The Courtauld Institute of Art


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Courtauld Connects



Courtauld Image Libraries


Update October 2020: We are not currently recruiting for new Digitisation Volunteers. However, we welcome contributions to our brand new crowdsourcing project: World Architecture Unlocked. Help us make the collection searchable, from the comfort of your home.
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As part of Courtauld Connects, we will open our photographic collections to the public, making our full resolution digital images available online for the first time. With the ambitious goal of reordering, numbering, photographing and cataloguing over 60,000 negatives and nearly one million mounted photographs, in 2017 we started looking for passionate volunteers and found incredible support and generosity from over 900 people since the beginning of the project.

Volunteers can come in as much or as little as it suits their schedule and don’t have to have any prior knowledge or minimum level of expertise. The training we provide covers:

  • Cultural heritage photography, using state of the art PhaseOne cameras and CaptureOne software;
  • Handling photographs, prints, archival boxes, film and glass plate negatives;
  • Accessioning (creating and affixing unique identifiers to library items);
  • Transcribing metadata into our database;
  • Researching photographers and creating Wikipedia articles;

Highlights of the photographic collections include:

  • Urban and rural architecture across the UK and Europe from 1200 to 2000
  • 1850s prints of Istanbul by James Robertson
  • TE Lawrence’s photographs of Jeddah
  • The Macmillan archive of bomb damage across Europe following the second world war
  • 20th-century social housing projects
  • The complete collection of Anthony Kersting’s negatives, with historical images of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel
  • The de Laszlo gift of over 20,000 of Paul Laib Negatives illustrating works by many of the major artists working in Britain including Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.

Our staff and volunteers come from all walks of life. We provide an open-minded, positive and safe space where everyone is treated with respect, acceptance and gratitude. This means we’ll always be delighted to meet you and we welcome all differences in race, colour, age, marital status, disability, social background, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

If you’d like to discover more about the digitisation project please visit the Digital Media Blog.

If you want to find out more about volunteering at The Courtauld please head to our volunteer programme page.

If you have any questions about digitisation you can email: digitisation.volunteering@courtauld.ac.uk


Digitisation Volunteer team at The Courtauld standing in a group in front of The Courtauld at Somerset House


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