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Digitisation of the collection

Digital Asset Management System

To support the development of the new Search the Collection interface, the National Gallery developed a Collection Application Programming Interface (Collection API). The API combines the collection data from EMu with the digital image of the work of art from DiVA and presents the data on an interface without needing data modulation or manual processing. The API synchronises the Gallery's permanent collection data and images once every 24 hours to reflect the updated data stored in these two primary collection systems. The API has also been designed to sync the collection thesaurus data from EMu. This data consists of over 1.4 million terms relating to subject, art movement and Australian curriculum terms. For the first time, the public will be able to search for works of art held by the Gallery using common terms and navigate to other works of art which are linked to the same term. This will enhance the accessibility and discoverability of the collection.

Search the Collection
A new visually rich collection search and discovery interface was launched in June. New features and updates will be made to Search the Collection in the coming year to provide more accurate search and discover capabilities.

Gender equity in the national collection and reporting thereof was an important strategic goal for the Gallery during the year and the Collection Data Team supported this goal through innovative data capture and reporting solutions in consultation with the Gender Equity Action Plan Working Group and external experts.


Research Library and Archives
The Research Library and Archives collection consists of 261,676 catalogued items including books, exhibition catalogues, and catalogues raisonné. Catalogue highlights include: 52,575 Australian and New Zealand artist ephemera files, 64,050 international artist ephemera files, 153 Australian artist and art organisation archives, 400 art-related serials, 4,300 rare monographs, 202 rare serials titles, 4,900 posters and a variety of audio-visual material. 10,755 items were catalogued and added to the Research Library collection during 2020-2021.

Acquisition highlights from the year include the exhibition catalogue for Jackson Pollock’s exhibition at New York's Sidney Janis Gallery in 1952, with the first appearance of Blue poles, listed as Number 11; Preponderance of Aboriginal Blood, 16 etchings by Judy Watson, Waanyi people, from 2019; and the seven-volume Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonne: 1955 – 1992.