The Helpful Online Gateway to Art History — HOGARTH for short — is one of a number of collaborative projects funded by the Research Support Libraries Progromme. The overall aim of the programme is to enhance access, particularly electronic access, to research collections in the UK. HOGARTH focuses on facilitating access to major exhibition and sales catalogue collections in the history of art.

The project involves twelve higher education institutions with significant library collections in the history of art. As well as participating in the project the Courtauld is acting as lead institution. Dr. Sue Price, Head of Academic Information Services, Courtauld Institute of Art, is the project Director. As Project Manager, I am responsible for the daily running of the project and am based at the Courtauld two days a week. Prior to graduating from the Institute in 1997 with an MA in History of Dress, I completed an MSc in Library and Information Studies at the University of Strathclyde. Whilst studying I carried out research into the impact of the internet on the museum and gallery sector. Since graduating I have worked at the Courtauld, London College of Fashion and am currently based at the Royal College of Art.

Primarily the HOGARTH project consists of 'retrospective conversion’: a process common to all academic libraries as they replace the old card catalogues with online computer catalogues. As a direct result of 'retroconversion’ researches will no longer have to travel to an individual library in order to search that library’s card catalogue manually. Instead complete holdings of exhibition and sales catalogues of the libraries involved in the project will be accessible via the internet. When the project comes to a close in July 2002 the twelve participating libraries will have created some 83,000 computer records for exhibition and sales catalogues published between the early 1800’s and the late 1980’s.

The completed project will also include a web gateway that will act as a directory to UK university, museum and national libraries with collections in art history. This online directory will provide a description of library collections, access details and links to library OPACS (Online Public Access Catalogues) allowing researchers to judge which collections in the UK most suit their research and then to search their catalogues.

More information concerning the hogarth Project can be found at:
http:// www.courtauld.ac.uk/hogarth

Sarah Gilmour
Project Manager, HOGARTH Project