One million rarely seen archive photos released online for free

A five-year project to scan and record over a million photos of world architecture, sculpture, paintings, and decorative objects has been completed, releasing the photos for online study, and use.

S. Maria dei Servi, Genoa, Italy. Ministry of Works Collection, The Conway Library, The Courtauld

The Courtauld Gallery in central London holds The Conway Library collection, which contains over one million images dating from the inception of photography to the present day, including 160,000 prints by Britain’s leading architectural photographer of the 20th Century Anthony Kersting.

Founded by journalist, mountaineer, politician, and art historian Lord Conway of Allington, the Conway Library collection was bequeathed to The Courtauld Institute of Art when it was founded in 1932. Since then, the collection has developed continuously as a teaching and research collection with gifts from photographers and collectors.

Since 2017, almost 2,000 in-person volunteers have worked with The Courtauld to catalogue and photograph every image in the collection so that it can be provided for free as an online resource.

The entire collection is now available as high-resolution images, making the library easier to use as a tool for research and education and enabling a wider audience to access it.

Alongside the Kersting collection, there’s the Ministry of Works collection which contains hundreds of unpublished photographs taken by soldiers, historians, and architects across Europe that reveal cityscapes reduced to rubble by bomb damage during the final days of World War II.

It also includes T.E. Lawrence’s photographs of Saudi Arabia and the De Laszlo Collection of 22,000 glass plates including images of works by major early 20th Century British artists.

More recently, the collection also includes photographs documenting the history of social housing in Britain, including Highpoint Flats by Tecton Group, London, and the Brutalist Park Hill Flats, Sheffield.

The collection has been released under a

This article was published on ianVisits


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