Digitisation volunteers outside the Courtauld

Digitisation Volunteer Project

As part of Courtauld Connects, we will open our photographic collections to the public, making our full resolution digital images available online for the first time. With the ambitious goal of reordering, numbering, photographing and cataloguing over 60,000 negatives and nearly one million mounted photographs, in 2017 we started looking for passionate volunteers and found incredible support and generosity from over 900 people since the beginning of the project.

Update February 2022

We’re delighted to resume recruitment for our brilliant team of Digitisation Volunteers based in the Conway Library at Somerset House.

  • Please complete this form to join our waiting list and we’ll be in touch with more information on how to join the team.
  • We also have a remote volunteering project on Zooniverse called World Architecture Unlocked, so you can help make our collection accessible from the comfort of your home.
If you would like to get in touch, please email: digitisation.volunteering@courtauld.ac.uk 


Volunteers can come in as much or as little as it suits their schedule and don’t have to have any prior knowledge or minimum level of expertise. The training we provide covers:

  • Cultural heritage photography, using state of the art PhaseOne cameras and CaptureOne software
  • Handling photographs, prints, archival boxes, film and glass plate negatives
  • Accessioning (creating and affixing unique identifiers to library items)
  • Transcribing metadata into our database
  • Researching photographers and creating Wikipedia articles

Our staff and volunteers come from all walks of life. We provide an open-minded, positive and safe space where everyone is treated with respect, acceptance and gratitude. This means we’ll always be delighted to meet you and we welcome all differences in race, colour, age, marital status, disability, social background, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Highlights of the photographic collections include:

  • Urban and rural architecture across the UK and Europe from 1200 to 2000
  • 1850s prints of Istanbul by James Robertson
  • TE Lawrence’s photographs of Jeddah
  • The Macmillan archive of bomb damage across Europe following the second world war
  • 20th-century social housing projects
  • The complete collection of Anthony Kersting’s negatives, with historical images of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Israel
  • The de Laszlo gift of over 20,000 of Paul Laib Negatives illustrating works by many of the major artists working in Britain including Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.
Digitisation volunteers outside the Courtauld