The Witt Library has been taking part in a project called VAN EYCK since 1992. We are now involved in the second phase of this which will end next year. The project is funded, or partly funded, by the European Union in the area of what is called the Ten-Telecom programme. VAN EYCK is, an acronym which stands for the 'Visual Arts Network for the Exchange of Cultural Knowledge', missing the Y and not entirely elegant prose. But we were encouraged to find an acronym which was also the name of a Netherlands artist as the Witt's main partner in the project is the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History). Other partners are also, or have been, Dutch and in the first phase we had an Irish partner, Trinity College Dublin Art History Department. The object of the project, is to create a system whereby art historical databases and photographic archives can be searched, either singly or in groups, from one workstation. Initially it was designed to work on the client server principle, but now, of course, it is being adapted for searching on the Internet. This has involved the creation of a 'core record', a basic list of cataloguing terms, which can be applied to disparate databases with different systems of organisation. In very general terms we are trying to create a system for searching collections of photographs of works of art which is similar to existing book library OPACs.

John Sunderland
Photographic Librarian