Since 2007, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been funding a series of pilot projects in digital recording and transmission of conservation documentation.
The National Gallery’s Mellon Digital Documentation Project centres on the Gallery’s remarkable and diverse group of 10 paintings by Raphael because – as a result both of long-term research and of recent reassessment arising from the exhibition held in London in 2004/5 – there was already extensive primary material on Raphael, much of it already interpreted in various publications.
The exceptional documentation on Raphael, kept across the National Gallery’s departments and archives, was previously available only internally and to visiting scholars. For the first time, this valuable resource, compiled nearly 200 years after the National Gallery’s foundation in 1824, has been made available digitally as part of the Gallery’s website for both specialists and the general public.
Further research and new results obtained after the Raphael exhibition in 2004/5 have also be made available and published online for the Mellon Digital Documentation Project. Collaboration with other institutions allows other works by Raphael to be included, bringing together art-historical, technical and conservation-based information and creating a platform which could eventually host Raphael’s complete œuvre in unprecedented depth.