Enfilade

Cuts Said to be Considered at Courtauld’s Conway & Witt

Posted in resources by Editor on August 19, 2009

The following message from Colum Hourihane regarding the Conway and Witt photographic libraries in London went out the CAAH list last Thursday: [N.B. Please also see the follow-up post, added August 25, here.]

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Urgent: Courtauld Photographic Libraries under Threat

Somerset House, home of the Courtauld Institute (Wikimedia Commons)

Somerset House, home of the Courtauld Institute (Wikimedia Commons)

In response to the current economic downturn The Courtauld Institute is looking to make savings. The Conway and Witt photographic libraries have been identified as areas in which savings could be made without affecting the core activities of the Institute. There is currently a brief consultation period-which ends in the next few days.

If no satisfactory alternative can be found it is possible that the Conway and Witt will be frozen, their staff made redundant, and access limited to one day per week. Silence from the scholarly community on this topic is likely to be taken as acquiescence in whatever plan is finally decided upon.

If you or your students have used the Witt or Conway in the past, and/or would like to use them in the future, it would be helpful if you could email a brief message to The Director, Professor Deborah Swallow (deborah.swallow@courtauld.ac.uk) expressing your grave concern at recent developments. Given the uncertainties of the present situation it might be appropriate to refer merely to ‘the current threat to the Conway and Witt libraries’. If you have positive suggestions, those of course would be particularly welcome.

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