Curatorial Voice


      Data, code, and documentation

Using Curatorial Voice

18 June 2019, Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex



‘Curatorial Voice: legacy descriptions of art objects and their contemporary uses’ is a 12-month project that explores how new knowledge about the curation and the content of image collections can be generated through computer-assisted analysis of curatorial art descriptions. Our case study is a catalogue of 1.5 million words written by the historian M. Dorothy George between 1935 and 1954 to describe 12,552 Georgian satirical prints, which we use as a starting point to examine descriptions of art objects more broadly.

‘Using Curatorial Voice’ is a one-day workshop that brings together cultural heritage professionals in digital/technical roles, digital humanists, curators, art historians, and information professionals to reflect on the role of computational text analysis of image descriptions, along with image analysis, as a basis for exploring new types of access to image collections. Talks will explore:

We are delighted to welcome speakers from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Helsinki, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Science Museum, and Wellcome Collection. More speakers will be confirmed soon.

‘Using Curatorial Voice’ is the second of two events funded under the British Academy Digital Research in the Humanities Grants scheme. The project is live between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019.


Note: schedule subject to change

Tom Bilson (Head of Digital Media, Courtauld Institute of Art), ‘AI and the Witt Library Unfortunatley, Tom is now unable to attend.


The workshop will take place at the Sussex Humanities Lab at the University of Sussex. The Sussex Humanities Lab is located in the Silverstone Building.

The University of Sussex is located at Falmer on the outskirts of Brighton, within easy reach of London and major international airports at Gatwick and Heathrow.

The University of Sussex campus is well served by public transport with Falmer train station on the south side of campus, and frequent buses on campus to and from Brighton. The adjoining A27 also gives good access by car. Details for all this services, including on campus parking, can be found here.

Additional information of campus facilities and maps and directions are available on the University of Sussex website.

Code of Conduct

‘Using Curatorial Voice’ is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at