Researchers Across the Country
At the heart of the project in each county is the PCF's researcher or County Coordinator. This person researches the whereabouts of paintings, liaises with the people in charge of the collections and gathers the catalogue information for each painting. In a number of counties, the County Coordinator is aided by NADFAS Heritage Volunteers who bring extensive local knowledge.
Researching the paintings requires painstaking detective work. Much information on the location and content of galleries can be found in the Museums and Galleries Yearbook and on the Internet. However, it is only through the generous guidance of local government and museum authorities that the PCF can trace the art that hangs in spaces not normally accessible to the public. Thereafter, it is down to simple legwork: visiting town halls, council offices, fire stations, hospitals, law courts and elsewhere, to ensure the cataloguing work is comprehensive.
Working Closely with the Collections
Museums and other institutions work closely with the PCF's staff to arrange suitable times for paintings to be photographed and share the information that they possess.
Photographing oil paintings in colour to a good standard is not simple. Whilst the PCF would like to photograph paintings in situ, in many cases this is not practicable. Many paintings are above eye level, hanging on staircases or in tight spaces, or simply stacked in storerooms. This means that in some cases the PCF needs to use imaginative methods of shooting photographs, or, with the guardian's approval, move the paintings to temporary photographic studios nearby. The paintings are photographed glazed and framed.