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Tuesday, December 3 • 9:30am - 9:45am
Collaboration Between the Public and Museums in the Creation of Your Paintings, The UK's National Online Gallery of Oil Paintings

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This presentation will describe a unique project to put online the United Kingdom’s entire national collection of oil paintings in public ownership. The project was ten years in the making and involved creating a photographic record of over 210,000 paintings from 3,200 collection venues. The website –

www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings – was built in partnership with the BBC. The Your Paintings project dramatically improves public access to paintings in Britain. Eighty per cent of the physical works in this collection are in storage, and the majority had not been photographed before the project began.

A key aspect of the Your Paintings project involves the public tagging the paintings with keywords and subject information using the Your Paintings Tagger tool (http://tagger.thepcf.org.uk/). The public’s tags are fed through an algorithm to create high-quality tags that are used to help users search for paintings on Your Paintings. To date approaching 10,000 members of the public have signed up as Taggers. 

The PCF, a UK not-for-profit organization, has the objective of opening up art in UK public collections for enjoyment, learning and research. Following the completion of the oil painting digitisation programme, the PCF is now working on various initiatives, including plans to digitise the UK’s public sculpture collection. A key focus is keeping the Your Paintings resource up to date through updates from participating collections as well as through suggestions about missing information from the public. Building on this, the PCF is setting up a digital network – to be called Art Detective – that will provide pro bono expertise drawn from the UK and abroad for collections in need of help with art historical questions or information about subject matter. Art Detective will be operational in early 2014.

The presentation will discuss the benefits and challenges around collaboration between collections, the general public and individuals with specialist knowledge.

avatar for Andrew Ellis

Andrew Ellis

Director, Public Catalogue Foundation
Director, The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) / Andrew Ellis has been Director of the PCF since its launch in 2003. Over this period he oversaw the project to digitise the UK’s collection of oil paintings. In the period 2008 to 2011 he led the transformation of the PCF from being... Read More →

Tuesday December 3, 2013 9:30am - 9:45am PST
Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Eros Guldgränd 8 Box 15270, Stockholm, 10465, Sweden

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