Tate Britain Conference

Unboxing the Archive: How Tate is transforming access to our artistic heritage

The Archives & Access digitisation project draws on the world’s largest archive of British Art – the Tate Archive – and brings it together online with Tate’s art collection, giving unprecedented worldwide access to original materials.This has been made possible through a £1.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

As the project moves into the final stage project team members and collaborators will be participating in a day-long conference to share knowledge, experience, and invite discussion. The conference will explore approaches to digitisation processes – from funding to online features, conservation to rights clearance, preservation to publishing – and will conclude with a panel discussion and audience Q&A.


  • Session one: Project scope and dealing with archive content 
  • Session two: Digital and Information systems
  • Session three: Learning, outreach and volunteers
  • Session four: Development, funder response and Q&A

Full breakdown of the programme [PDF, 3,13 Mb] 

Watch the recording

If you would like to watch the recordings from this conference please email us at webmaster@tate.org.uk with details of which session. 

About the digitisation project

With 52,000 pieces digitised from a selection of artists’ archives, Tate’s online visitors can now search, browse and make links between archive items and collection works. In addition the project has resulted in the creation of new digital resources, such as the interactive Albums feature, the online crowdsourcing transcription tool AnnoTate (produced in collaboration with Zooniverse) and video learning resource ‘Animating the Archives’ which brings to life some of the processes, practices and stories behind the artists’ lives and working contexts. A volunteer programme welcomes engagement from Preservation Volunteers and Archive Explorers, whilst an associated learning programme enables new audiences to engage with these materials in partnership with cultural and social organisations across five regions of Britain: South Wales; Liverpool and Merseyside; Tyne and Wear; Margate and Greater London.

Finally, the Archives & Access project includes the creation of new dedicated learning and public gallery spaces at Tate Britain, featuring a Digital Learning Studio, and the Archive Gallery, the first permanent gallery at Tate dedicated to displaying library and archive items, as well as interactive digital versions of artists’ sketchbooks.

Project progress has been documented on Tate’s blog channel.

Tate Britain

The Clore Auditorium

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

23 November 2015 at 09.30–17.30