News Issue No. 16 Autumn 2003
Catherine Gordon who retired from the Witt
Library in July, worked for the Institute for nearly 30 years. Cathie
studied for her doctorate under Michael Kitson and submitted her thesis:
British Paintings of Subjects from the English Novel: 1740-1870 in
1981. She managed the Teaching Collection from 1973 and by 1982 was acting
head of the Witt Computer Index database funded by the Getty AHIP Programme.
She later became Director of Projects. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s
visitors regularly sought Cathies advice, building on her pioneering
work in database criteria. In the early days of computers the Index stood
out as a sophisticated relational database using authority and vocabulary
files and classification systems. In the early 1990s Cathie taught a course
in Art History and Computing for Birkbeck College. Always keen on new
technology, she introduced us to the fax, laptop and scanner in the days
when these were at the 'cutting edge. She brought us into the
digital age with the VANEyCK project and managed the making of
the Courtauld Gallery and Garrison CDs. Her electric Witt Checklist
of Artists, has proved invaluable to us in the Witt Library.
At a recent meeting of Artstor in Los Angeles a gentleman who was introduced to Cathie remarked: '...The Cathie Gordon? So I get to meet the legend at last
Cathie intends to share her time between her native New Zealand and London and we wish Cathie every happiness in her retirement.