Collections Online now features more images of artworks from Te Papa’s Collection. In the past six weeks over 200 more images have been uploaded for you to view. But have you ever wondered about how we get these images online? One of the main challenges for Te Papa is copyright.
While Te Papa physically owns artworks, objects and specimens in our permanent collection, we don’t always own the copyright in the artworks and objects. Copyright is a property right that is separate from the physical ownership of the work. It is often retained by the artist or the artist’s estate and, like any other property, it can be on-sold or licensed.
My name is Victoria Leachman and it’s part of my job as Te Papa’s Rights Manager is to ask copyright owners for copyright licences so that Te Papa has permission to photograph and copy images of artworks and objects into Collections Online.
Recently I’ve had some help with this. This is Chris Fletcher.
Chris has been with Te Papa since late April and he’s here until the end of June. His focus has been on researching and sending out copyright licenses for Te Papa’s art collection in particular. So far Chris has sent out over 230 copyright licence requests and we’ve had a fantastic response back with more licences being signed and returned every day. Thank you to all of the artists, copyright owners and copyright administrators who have been so generous in granting Te Papa these licences!
Once the licences are returned I update the copyright information and upload the images of the artworks to Collections Online. Here is one of Chris’s favourites.