Great news from the Paul Mellon Centre that their photographic archive has been made available as an open-access archive of more than 100,000 digitised photographs of British art and architecture is now available to search and download. The Centre has clearly embraced best practice in open resources by embracing the use of Creative Commons, meaning many images will be available for re-use. Resources like these are more important than ever as researchers everywhere continue to grapple with limited access to archives and collections due to Covid restrictions.
See the archive here: https://photoarchive.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/collections
From the Paul Mellon Centre
Between 1964 and 1969 the Paul Mellon Foundation began to collate an internationally important collection of reference photographs of British paintings, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts, as well as images of sketchbooks and exhibitions.
The photographic archive provided access to art that was often locked behind the closed doors of Britain’s private country houses and collections. This activity was continued when the Foundation was re-established as the Paul Mellon Centre (PMC) in 1970, and maintained until 2013, at which point the collection contained more than 100,000 reference images.
This historically important and visually rich collection has now been digitised, with typed and handwritten descriptive notations transcribed for searchability, and is available, free, online.
Visitors to the online resource, can learn about the nation’s heritage through images collated from the exhibition, publication and sale of British works of art.
Users are able to download, compare, and contrast the works using digital tools. More than 44,000 images are available for reuse, offered with a Creative Commons licence for non-commercial purposes. In doing so the PMC joins major international institutions like the Rijksmuseum, whose open access image collections have become significant resources for new artistic and research projects.