Public Catalogue Foundation and Your Paintings

Public Catalogue Foundation and Your Paintings

History of Art has been working with the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) for several years advising the PCF and the BBC on the Your Paintings project and the associated BBC website, and on the design, implementation and management of the pioneering public engagement projects Your Paintings Tagger and Art Detective.

Your Paintings Tagger uses principles developed by the astrophysics community for their Galaxy Zoo project to involve thousands of volunteers in tagging images of paintings with descriptive content keywords. These will greatly enhance the searchability and usefulness of the Your Paintings website.  The Glasgow work has been done by Andrew Greg, Director of the National Inventory Research Project in the School of Culture and Creative Arts, and Dr Jo Meacock, now with Glasgow Museums.

To date over 10,500 taggers have been registered and have created over 5.5 million tags. Over 23,000 paintings have been completely tagged according to the project’s criteria and these tags are being delivered to the BBC. An enormous amount of raw tagging data has been, and continues to be, created. This could in itself eventually be of immense value to researchers into digital humanities, psychology, semantics, aesthetics, art education, etc.

Art Detective, launched in May 2014, is a public engagement project intended to improve the quality of information held by UK collections about paintings in their ownership. It comprises a set of public discussions in which curators can source information and advice from academics, experts and the members of the public worldwide, and anyone with new information can contribute it via the Your Paintings website. Over a dozen reattributions and identifications have already been made (July 2014).

For more information contact: Andrew Greg, Director, National Inventory Research Project.