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The Courtauld Institute of Art

Preserves and Publishes Its Prestigious Collection with Digital Asset Management

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About The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art, one of the world’s leading centers for the study of art history and conservation, is also home to a remarkable art collection that includes more than 550 paintings, 9,500 prints, and 35,000 photographs.

Located at Somerset House, on Museum Mile in London, the collection includes masterpieces from the early Renaissance to the 20th century and is particularly renowned for its unrivaled collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. These include Van Gogh’s "Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear" and "A Bar at the Folies Bergère" by Édouard Manet. Highlights from the Renaissance collection include several works by Boticelli together with Lucas Cranach the Elder’s "Adam and Eve".

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Where They Started

Following a National Lottery grant in 2001, The Courtauld Institute initially invested in an outsourced digital asset management (DAM) solution; however, this turned out to be both expensive and time-consuming as it proved difficult to make modifications to the database.

Eager to digitize the Institute’s entire collection and place these image libraries online, The Courtauld Institute went in search for an alternative DAM solution that was not only cost-effective, but also easy to configure and maintain internally. It was also imperative the new solution could integrate seamlessly with the Institute’s Collections Management System—MuseumPlus by zetcom.

Their Goals

Digitize the museum's images

Ensure the long-term preservation of the prestigious collection

The Solution:

Integrating Digital Asset Management with Collections Management

The Courtauld Institute turned to Extensis Portfolio for archiving images of its extensive collection, using the product’s metadata import functions so that each asset can be easily found and shared across departments.

The Courtauld Institute also leveraged Portfolio’s API, which enables the Institute’s collection management system to integrate with Portfolio. Portfolio's ability to connect to MuseumPlus was a great advantage in not only accessing the original digital files, but also creating on-demand copies in multiple resolutions and sizes through Portfolio’s media processing functions.

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The Result

By connecting Extensis’ digital asset management solution with its existing collection management system, The Courtauld Institute has:

“Portfolio delivers a crucial connection between our collection management portal and our vast collection of high-quality images.”

Tom Bilson
Head of Digital Media, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Next Steps

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Implementing a DAM

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