Crowdsourcing the Slade: call to help complete class photo archive
30 October 2013
The Slade School of Fine Art has a fascinating, but currently incomplete, collection of annual class photographs dating from 1931. A new project, led by the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, is appealing for help to identify the sitters in the photos and complete the collection.
Slade school photos have been taken annually since 1931. As part of the Slade Archive Project, researchers are asking former staff and students, scholars and members of the public for help to crowdsource content via a new website.
Print photos have been catalogued by year and digitised, with website visitors able to zoom in on individual faces.
Researchers have already managed to identify students in some of the photos – the 1953 photograph includes William Coldstream, Lucien Freud, Henry Moore, Sam Ntiro, and Paula Rego. They now need help to indentify faces in the other photos.
Professor Melissa Terras, Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, said: "These black and white panoramic images reflect the school’s rich history, capturing the likeness of Slade students and faculty through the decades.
"Feedback provided by visitors to the site will result in a dynamic archive and research resource, giving us an opportunity to compare crowdsourcing platforms and begin to trace the impact of Slade alumni around the world."
Professor Susan Collins, Director of the Slade, added: "Our aim through this project is to capture much more than just names and dates. Our hope is that these atmospheric photographs will trigger memories and anecdotes, which can be captured and used to bring the Slade's significant history to life."
This project is a collaboration between the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the Slade School of Fine Art, as part of the Slade Archive Project.
Images: (Top) Slade 1905 - the earliest unofficial ‘class photo’, taken after the annual Slade Strawberry picnic on 23 June 1905. (Bottom) Slade 1953 – including William Coldstream, Lucien Freud, Henry Moore, Sam Ntiro, and Paula Rego.