Recommended Platforms for Managing Your Personal Image Archive

There are many platforms that can be used to manage your personal research archives, we’ve selected three free options to review. Here you can compare platforms and determine which features are best suited for your purposes and explore demo collections for each platform.

If you’d like to discuss strategies for starting and maintaining your own personal image archive, please write to visualresources@uchicago.edu to schedule an appointment.

If you are an ARTH PhD student planning research travel, please consider participating in a collaboration with the VRC to manage your personal image archive and contribute a subset of around 200 images of your research photographs to the VRC for inclusion in LUNA. See the PhD Student Research Photo Archive Collaboration page for more details. See an example of UChicago PhD student Yifan Zou’s archive from Teotihuacán on LUNA.

Organizing your Personal Archive

Before You Begin

Selecting a platform to organize your personal image archive depends on a number of conditions, including the current and anticipated size of your archive and the unique metadata & cataloging needs of your images. We invite you explore our Guides to Image Editing and Cataloging to help make sure you’re working with the highest-quality images possible and the right metadata structures, including file-naming conventions.

Platforms

ARIES

Airtable

Tropy

Storing Platform, Image, and Metadata Files

For more information on how to manage the files associated with personal archive platforms, please see the Storage and Backup page.

The demo sites and documentation were prepared in collaboration with colleagues at Academic Technology Solutions and the University of Chicago Library:

Allie Scholten
Digital Collections Manager, Visual Resources Center
The University of Chicago Department of Art History
ascholten@uchicago.edu

Bridget Madden
Associate Director, Visual Resources Center
The University of Chicago Department of Art History
bridgetm@uchicago.edu

Cecilia Lo
Academic Technology Analyst, IT Services
University of Chicago
cclo@uchicago.edu

Nancy Spiegel
Bibliographer for Art, Cinema and History
University of Chicago Library
nspiegel@uchicago.edu

If you are interested in learning about methods for exhibiting digital images, visit this guide on Digital Exhibition Platforms.