The Witt begins Digitisation Project

November 16 2023

Image of The Witt begins Digitisation Project


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Courtauld Institute of Art in London announced this week that they are beginning the process of a complete digitisation of the Witt Photographic Library. This important collection, which contains vast amounts of photos of paintings from auction catalogues, private collections and museums, ordered by national school and artist, is a significant resource for both academic researchers and the art trade. Its digitisation will likely transform the way paintings research is done. Amazingly, the institute has sent the entire collection to the Netherlands where it will be digitised by the company Picturae BV.

According to the press release:

Established in the 1890s by Sir Robert Witt during his undergraduate studies at Oxford, the collection has a fascinating history. A comprehensive survey in 2013 showed that the Witt comprises 2,151,862 images in 102,995 folders, housed in 19,139 boxes. Its collection occupies nearly 1.4 km of shelf space and includes works from 26 different national “schools” of art.

They are planning that the whole collection will be completed by Summer 2025, and have even published the following schedule:

British School by w/c 28 July 2024
French School by w/c 2 September 2024
Netherlandish School by w/c 11 November 2024
Italian School by w/c 10 February 2025
German and American Schools by w/c 11 March 2025
Remaining schools by w/c 15 April 2025

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