"The VADS Fine Art Project aims to bring together, through a distributed digitisation model, artworks from across Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) that can serve to exemplify the history and achievement of fine art education and practice in this country since its inception in the 1850s.
In the initial stages of the project, a survey was sent out to all the Higher Education Institutions in the UK that taught fine art, in order to elicit whether or not student and staff work had been kept or documented. From this survey it was found that many colleges failed or had ceased to collect artworks due to the cost implications of purchasing, storing and insuring the works, leading to the output of many art colleges remaining undocumented.
As the Fine Art Project progressed, protocols for the digital capture, documentation and copyright clearance of work were established. These were then used to collect works from around the country to be included in the National Fine Art Education Digital Collection. However, given their inherent useable and easily applicable nature, it was thought the same protocols could be just as useful to digitally capture, document and rights-clear works within HEIs as and when they were being produced. This would make it far easier and affordable for colleges to capture and maintain collections of their present and past work, as well as offering additional benefits such as making them widely available on the Internet or for other publishing requirements."
(Ed Bremner, 1 September 2003 [last modified: 28th March 2006], Institute for Learning and Research Technology)