Images from the Design Archives, Knitting Collections at University of Southampton, Museum of Design in Plastics, and University of the Arts London

Visual Arts Data Service

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) provides online access to over 100,000 high quality digitised images of library, museum, and archive collections from higher education arts institutions and digitisation projects across the UK, which are for free for use in learning, teaching and research. The collection covers a wide range of visual arts subjects including fine art, design, applied arts, architecture, and media, and is accessible from an open access searchable online catalogue at VADS also provides online access to a range of other digital visual arts resources including a number of image-based learning and teaching modules based around the collections.

VADS was established in 1997 and since then has been hosted by the Library and Learning Services Department at the Farnham campus of the University for the Creative Arts (formerly Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College).

The VADS team has led on a number of JISC-funded projects and research relating to digital imagery including: Pictiva, The Fine Art Project, The Digital Picture, the Images Application Profile, Picshare UK, Enhancing the VADS Image Collection, and the current Look-Here! Project. Other research conducted by VADS has included an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded ICT strategy project; research on e-learning conducted for the University for the Creative Arts; and VADS was also a partner in the JISC-funded Kultur Project. The VADS website also provides access to advisory documents and case studies on digitisation in the art education sector, such as 'Creating Digital Resources for the Visual Arts: Standards and Good Practice.'

Leigh Garrett, VADS Director -
Amy Robinson, VADS Collections Manager -
Carlos Silva, VADS Planning and Development Manager -
Marie-Therese Gramstadt, VADS Projects Officer -