Virtual Repository of Photographers' Sales Catalogues

Catalogues edited by photographers and photographic companies are an important source when dealing with photographs. They not only provide an overview of the respective photographic offerings, but also contain a wealth of additional information about photographic techniques, formats and prices, provide clues to the dating of individual photographs and allow conclusions to be drawn about their distribution and circulation.

The KHI Photothek has more than 500 photography catalogues from 1890 to 1940, which contain lists of the photographs available from different publishers such as Alinari and Moscioni. This project aims to create a digital repository for hosting photo catalogues from institutions all over the world. This repository will offer researchers several new possibilities, such as geo views of the data, detailed information and access to the scanned catalogues. The metadata of our catalogues was converted to the BIBFrame data model and provides an easy-to-use interface to edit, delete and create linked data for the catalogues. We will also leverage this semantic model to create a contextual search, where users can intuitively ask research questions and discover new relationships between data.

In the second part of the project, we plan to make the catalogues and their content searchable, and we plan to employ machine learning techniques to identify and search for the photographs listed in the catalogues in our photographic database. We will link the results to the PDF files and include the information in the repository. These procedures will be well-defined in order to improve the reusability of the repository so that in the future it can be easily adopted by our partners. 

Virtual Repository


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