Pictures in Public: Online Collections, Research and Public Engagement

07 October 2009



       Professor Evelyn Welch, Director of the AHRC’s Beyond Text Programme and

Professor Roger Ainsworth, Master of St Catherine’s College, Oxford

in association with the AHRC

Pictures in Public

Online Collections, Research and Public Engagement

St Catherine’s College, Manor Road, Oxford

10-11 September 2009

The Pictures in Public: Online Collections, Research and Public Engagement conference was the result of The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) initiative to explore methods of bridging transatlantic cultures through pubic engagement with the arts. It is follows the “Picturing the Nation” conference that took place in Washington D.C. on 23 October 2008, which was sponsored jointly by the NEH and AHRC. The purpose of the Washington D.C. conference was to foster scholarly collaboration and research in the humanities and featured presentations on how art can illuminate a nation’s history. The 2009 Pictures in Public conference considered the theme of collaboration in the humanities by addressing the role of online public collections in promoting research and public engagement. A full report will soon be available here.


Shearer West, Head of Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Thomas Phelps, Director of Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities provided opening words for the conference and are here pictured in the garden of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.

Sixty participants attended the conference and represented the following institutions:

Arts & Humanities Research Council
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
Bridgeman Art Library
The British Museum
Courtuald Institute
Intelligent Heritage
King’s College London
Museums Galleries of Scotland
McMannus Galleries and Museum
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Gallery
National Museums, Northern Ireland
National Museum of Wales
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Trust
Oxford Brookes University
The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Penlee House Gallery & Museum
Public Catalogue Foundation
Royal Academy of Arts
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Tate Modern
Technology Strategy Board
University of Glasgow
University of Oxford
Wikimedia UK


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Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.