The Getty Research Portal Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Articolo tratto dal sito del Getty Research Institute  By Anya Ventura   Oct 12, 2022

Happy 10-year anniversary to the Getty Research Portal, a go-to online destination for digitized art books, featuring 180,00 plus records from 45 institutions around the world.

We couldn’t do our work without some amazing partners like the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Tobunken), Duke University Dictionary of Art Historians, Heidelberg University Library, and our own Getty Provenance Index.

A decade ago, when art libraries began digitizing parts of their often vast and unique collections, an increasing wealth of art historical literature became scattered throughout the Internet.

How to create one central online location, so that anyone in the world could access all these materials? That’s the challenge that sparked the Getty Research Portal, an online platform that for the past 10 years has made texts from dozens of institutions freely available to all.

Users can find architectural periodicals from Brazil, 19th-century British botanical illustrations, century-old Japanese art journals, a catalog of medieval rings, contemporary museum publications, rare books dating back to the 16th century, you name it—the Portal has become a go-to destination for researchers on the web and is only growing. Getty now collaborates with 45 institutions around the world to share 180,000 plus art records online, with the data available in standardized open format for anyone to access and download. The Portal spans 11 countries and more than 65 languages, making it an increasingly global resource.

The Portal is an especially useful tool for scholars and students without access to a major art history library. It also allows users to compare records in a way that was previously impossible, since researchers couldn’t be in multiple holding libraries at once. The Portal team sometimes aids comparisons by curating “virtual collections” from items so that researchers can see how different materials relate to one another across institutions.

For Beth Ann Whittaker, associate director of the Sam Francis Foundation, the Tokyo National Research Institute’s collection of rare art exhibition catalogs on the Portal yielded an unexpected discovery related to the famed painter. “We have actually found an incredible publication from 1955 that we believe Sam Francis was included in and that we have never previously seen,” she said. “So amazing!”

The Research Institute continues to spearhead this project, working to rapidly digitize its own holdings, encourage others to digitize theirs, and to add new contributors.