The Art Newspaper reports that budget cuts are threatening access to some of London’s most important archives.
The Courtauld Institute in London is considering drastic cuts to its three archives of images, including the Witt Library. From September, they would only open one day a week and effectively cease to collect. This proposal is causing great concern amongst art historians, as well as the art trade, since it is a major resource.
Cost-cutting lies behind the proposal, and the Courtauld is concerned about the subsidy involved in administering and adding to the collections (Witt Library, Conway Library and Photographic Survey).
More than three million images are kept in London’s Somerset House and are currently open to the public every weekday, for a modest £10 a year (or £2 a day). Although the internet means that much of the recently added material is now available online, web images cannot be searched in such a systematic way.