Doctoral Research

Designing an Accessible and Sustainable Digital Catalogue Raisonné: Interdisciplinary Approaches and the Case of Ted Stamm

This thesis aims to advance scholarly dialogue on digital catalogue raisonnés by exploring key areas such as design, databases, accessibility, and sustainability. It contextualises these discussions through a detailed examination of the Ted Stamm Catalogue Raisonné, serving as a practical case study. The objective of a catalogue raisonné is to organise an artist’s oeuvre and contextualise the artist within an art historical framework. This research provides a model for catalogue raisonné contributors and developers, responding to the increase in production noted by the International Foundation for Art Research. This thesis employs interdisciplinary research spanning art history, design, and textual studies to contribute to these disciplines and the wider field of digital humanities. It discusses the role of scholarly art databases in such projects, emphasising the importance of shared resources. Furthermore, the research investigates strategies to improve accessibility and sustainability within digital catalogue raisonné projects, offering practical insights for enhancing these essential aspects. The thesis is structured into seven chapters:

The “Introduction” provides an overview of the thesis structure, followed by a “Literature Review” that examines theoretical and methodological underpinnings, including integrating art scholarly databases, textual scholarship, bibliography theories, digital editing, and scholarly publishing. It highlights methodologies, such as case studies, contextual design, DH approaches, interdisciplinary research, democratisation of resources, participatory methods, collaboration and action research. The “Design” chapter examines the history of catalogue raisonnés, contrasts print and digital publications, user interfaces (UI), graphical user interfaces (GUI), user experiences (UX) layout, components (color, visuals, type, icons), design system, navigation, interaction, prototypes and applies these to the Ted Stamm Catalogue Raisonné. The “Database” chapter regards the digital catalogue raisonné as a database, exploring platform approaches, catalogue raisonné terminology, user perspectives, and media considerations such as file formats and oral histories alongside archival studies, primary source material, ephemera, findings from the Ted Stamm Archive and a Ted Stamm Qualitative Survey. “Accessibility” discusses issues of open access, accessible design components, artificial intelligence (AI), metadata, cataloging and finding aids, preservation and copyright considerations. “Sustainability” explores sustainable strategies, legacy, economics, environmental considerations, and cloud storage solutions and the importance of collaborative efforts. The “Conclusion” synthesises these insights, reflecting on the thesis’s contributions to digital humanities and outlining future research directions for catalogue raisonné projects, particularly in technological strategies for enhancing sustainability and scholarly impact.


Jane Winters, Christopher Ohge