The New Opportunities Fund has awarded the Courtauld a one million pound award to digitise highlights from its collections and publish them on the web. The NOF, a distributor of National Lottery money, aims to create innovative on-line learning resources with material targeted particularly to users of public libraries and to schools.

The Courtauld project, called Art and Architecture, will build one of the leading digital image collections in its field, and will be aimed at all levels of learning and interest. Subject to issues of ownership and copyright it is hoped to include over 40,000 searchable images from the Courtauld’s collections of paintings, drawing and photographs. Alongside themed commentaries and features from Courtauld staff, it is hoped that users will be able to assemble their own selections of images and use the site as a focus to develop their own interests in art history. The project will employ six staff and will run for three years.

The application process for this award took almost two years. Of the 154 digitisation projects funded by NOF the Courtauld’s award is the largest made to a university, and the largest in support of the visual arts. I would like to thank the Director for his support throughout, and the team of Courtauld staff, Adrian Ellis Associates and Oliver Vicars-Harris for their work in developing such a compelling and successful business plan.

Full details of the award programme are available at www.nof.org.uk

Tom Bilson
Head of Digital Media