Picshare UK

Picshare UK was a nationwide survey of digital image collections in the art and design sector.

Who completed the questionnaire?

The questionnaire was for the maintainers or owners of digital image collections, including universities, colleges, museums, not-for-profit organisations, and commercial image libraries.

What were we trying to find out?


In 2005, the JISC Images Working Group set about formalising its vision for the future provision of digital images in UK higher and further education. In doing so, it consulted widely with the digital image using community, through studies such as the CLIC (Community-Led Image Collections) Study, and the Digital Picture Survey.

The result of this work has been the development of a vision for images in education based around the idea of a "virtual reservoir of images" or "national network of images" - a joining up of the mass of image resources which are often hard-to-find, scattered across unconnected websites.

Rather than creating a single, central repository for digital images, the model that was proposed by these studies is based on some level of interoperability between digital image collections, via metadata cross-searching or aggregation, through methods such as the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

Some of the advantages of this model include:

Who conducted this research?

This study was carried out on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Higher Education Academy, by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS).

Final Report

The final report is now available.