|Photo: Yale UP|
My natural disposition is grumpy rather than grateful, but can I just say hurrah for London's National Gallery, which must be one of the most open public institutions in the country. They publish board minutes online and have loads of really useful material on their website. Their Raphael Research Project is an outstanding collaborative project with a plethora of information that's rarely made available in the public domain. I recently wanted to consult their files on Raphael's Julius II, and it couldn't have been easier - a couple of emails and I was granted an appointment almost immediately. Of course it's only right that a publicly funded institution should be transparent and available to the public, but it so rarely works that way - and the NG goes out of its way to be helpful. Compare that to many publicly funded universities, which won't even let the public in to consult their libraries unless they pay for the privilege.