The Watercolour World Project

The primary objective of The Watercolour World is to digitise and collate public and private watercolour collections of record and make them available, via The Watercolour World website, both in the UK and globally. The goal is to save the images for posterity before they degrade too far to rescue.

  • Funded by the Marandi Foundation.
  • Joint patrons: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
  • Founder & Executive Chairma

The Watercolour World logo

See more paintings and ScanSnap SV600

Key statistics for the project

  • At launch, approximately 80,000 paintings will have been scanned.
  • The images document approx.18,000 geographical locations around the world, all from pre-1900.
  • PFU (EMEA) has provided six ScanSnap SV600 scanners that The Watercolour World’s digitisation teams are using to document images.
  • Approximately five percent of the paintings documented have been scanned using the SV600.

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The Watercolour World website

  • The images captured for the project will be available for anyone to visit for free via an online archive.
  • Users will be able to search by many criteria including artist, date and geographical location.

PFU (EMEA)’s involvement in Watercolour World

  • TWW is a real-world case study showing how PFU (EMEA)’s world-leading technology enables the world’s flow of knowledge.
  • This epitomises the Sanpo-Yoshi principal of contributing to and enriching society, which is part of “The Fujitsu Way” – by providing art access for all.

Why is the project important?

  • Watercolours are historically important. Pre-1900, they were the primary source of visual records.
  • The project will also enable a wide variety of interest groups to access the archive for free:
    - Artists, scientists, historians, schools & sociologists.
  • Watercolours are particularly prone to sunlight damage or degradation over time, meaning many must be carefully stored, hidden from public view.
  • The project is ideal for bringing an international resource to the public with particular value for future generations.

Why did The Watercolour World choose to use the ScanSnap SV600?

The SV600 provides a solution that allowed TWW to:

  • Save time, resources and costs associated with traditional capture techniques.
  • Visit collections and scan on-site with a highly portable scanner.
  • Achieve consistency of process and high quality output.
  • Reduce reliance on digitisation specialists.
  • Scan paintings in their frames, even through glass.
  • Scan within safe light limits to protect the integrity of the original paintings.

About the SV600

The ScanSnap SV600 contactless scanner provides a new perspective on document scanning. Easily scan newspapers, magazines, documents or books directly without cutting or damaging them.

  • One-button overhead scanning technology.
  • Scans an A3 size area in less than 3 seconds.
  • CCD optic with fast LED illumination within safe limits for artwork.