Winterthur’s Online Collections Reaches 60,000 Entries

Posted in museums by Editor on January 14, 2016

As noted recently at Art Daily:

In an effort that began ten years ago, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library has accomplished a significant milestone: 60,000 objects in the Winterthur collection have been catalogued or re-catalogued and made available to the public through Winterthur’s Online Collections.

In late summer of 2005, Winterthur welcomed new collections management software, and more than 70 staff and volunteer cataloguers began the process of cataloguing or re-cataloguing the entire collection of nearly 90,000 objects. With the help of many grants, approximately 16,000 ceramics, 14,500 metals, 11,000 textiles and needlework 3,500 prints and maps, 3,200 glass objects, 3,000 pieces of furniture, as well as architectural elements, paintings, tools, toys and games, works on paper, and more have been catalogued. In addition, nearly 152,000 digital images have been added to Winterthur’s collection database.

“We are incredibly grateful to all of our cataloguers over the years, as well as to those agencies, organizations, and individuals who have contributed to this project. Creating our Online Collections has given the public and scholars important access to the Winterthur collection and the wealth of information it has to offer, and in doing so, the Museum has been able to engage new audiences with its collection,” said Linda Eaton, John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections & Senior Curator of Textiles.

The original grant that started this process was given by the Jane du Pont Lunger Residual Trust Fund, which also funded the purchase of digital photographic equipment. Several other grants from federal agencies, foundations, and generous private supporters have helped Winterthur reach this achievement. Four grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services made possible cataloguing discrete parts of Winterthur’s diverse collections of decorative and fine arts. The textile collection, an important resource for historians internationally, was partially catalogued through two grants for furnishing textiles and printed textiles. Winterthur’s collection of tools used by artisans in trades ranging from carpentry to silversmithing to needlework is the focus of the most recent grant that will be completed June 2016. An additional grant from the National Endowment for the Arts scanned and photographed half of the maps and prints in the collection, which are now available online. A grant from The Coby Foundation catalogued quilts and other bed covers, while a grant from the Museum Loan Network was used to catalogue and photograph 100 pre-1800 English ceramics that were then made available for loan on the MLN website. The generosity of Leslie B. Durst has made it possible to catalogue and photograph the needlework collection.

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