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  1. #1
    Rik
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    Software to catalogue photo collection?

    Hi, i'm looking for some software (windows) to catalogue my photo collection. I don't mean digital photo's but printed photos.
    Anybody with recommendations / experiences in this kind of software?
    if possible, i would also like to use the software to catalogue my photo books.

    thanks for the help

    Rik
    the Netherlands

  2. #2

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    Rik,

    Sorry but I can't help you on the first one but for the second you may like to have a look at BookCAT at http://fnprg.com/

    There's a Lenswork podcast on it http://www.lenswork.com/podcast/LW02...%20Library.mp3

    All the best
    Guy

  3. #3
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Microsoft Access? Excel? Dunno. Good question though. I'd like to see what others come up with. There's a huge percentage of APUGers who are techno-geeks who may have a much better solution.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  4. #4
    Rik
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    Art,
    yes Access or Excel i could do myself, but i would like something more sophisticated (and i'm to lazy..), ideally also with an export function to my Ipod...

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    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Rik,

    This really is a good question. I wonder what a 'URS' would like for this product? Hmmm ... thinking.

    You know, you probably have to tie it to some sort of labeling/numbering system too. Lots to think about here.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  6. #6
    Rik
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    Art,
    what's an URS?

  7. #7
    RH Designs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rik View Post
    Hi, i'm looking for some software (windows) to catalogue my photo collection. I don't mean digital photo's but printed photos.
    Anybody with recommendations / experiences in this kind of software?
    if possible, i would also like to use the software to catalogue my photo books.

    thanks for the help

    Rik
    the Netherlands
    I got Fotostation bundled with my Nikon scanner a few years ago and still use it. Recommended. https://www.fotoware.com/ It's image-based so you'll need to scan your images but that's really the only sensible way to catalogue them anyway. IMHO of course All my negs and slides are catalogued on it.

    Not sure how it would handle books, although there is plenty of space with each image in which to store various details, categories, etc etc.

    HTH
    Regards,
    Richard.

    RH Designs - My Photography

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rik View Post
    what's an URS?
    User Requirements Specification. Sorry about the lingo, I should have spelled that out. It's a document outlining what features and functions we (as end users of the software) would want from the software.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  9. #9
    DKT
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    I had a longer answer--I'll try to make it more relevant & trim it down...there are some programs available for this that are in use in museums & archives. most are licensed, or have been developed in-house based on other legacy type programs. The museum I work for is within a system of other similar institutions. Years ago, more than 100, they had very simple systems that were more or less like a card catalog. As they got into keypunch machines and computers, the databases became more complex. The Federal gov't has a standardized code called MARC. In the system I work in--the archives had one called MARS. The museum had one called CUMAS. These latter two were eventually folded into computerized software that eventually became available more widely. The latter was ReDiscovery for the museum. Past Perfect is another one.

    Basically you need a set of numbers that your items or images are filed under to begin with. Different places use different schemes for this--I had earlier described some of ours, but I realized how confusing my post had become & how irrelevant....so....you need a way to sequentially identify through numbers or letters or a combination--your collection. If it's prints and negatives and other textual items--then you probably need some different sets of numbers to tell them apart.

    You need set locations for storage as well, and a way to be able to keep track of the stuff once it's filed and put in place physically. A database is no good, if you can't find the objects when you go to pull them. If you loan stuff out, or have to move it around a lot, then you probably need to think of some sort of trackig feature as well. Like an inventory more or less.

    Our collection database used keyword searches or numerical searches. Our numbering is a legacy thing, running back many years so it's really complicated to get into the specifics there--but if you start fresh--keep it simple, but remember that you need to be able to grow, and not get locked into a program that limits the length of the file. We used 8 character max until 2000, and had to redo the program for the millenium thing for example. Our negative files still don't use four spaces for the year, we're two only. but on the computer, we have to add a 20, or a 19 to find anything.

    You also need a controlled vocabularly to write captions for your word searches in the metadata. ReDiscovery excludes a huge list of words from searches actually--you have to phrase things just right to use this function, so the data entry is pretty time consuming and probably the least interesting part of the whole deal. It's the most important though, because if something is misspelled, you'll waste a lot of time trying to correct it or even find it.

    one of the agencies in our dept uses a database built on Access. That program works very welll for them, and we have thought about doing a database internally for the photo dept based on that. The biggest challenge for us is that we have a large collection, stored in multiple locations using probably close to a dozen different file systems. You can;t go back & change the numbers wholesale if they've been in use for a long period of time--it gets too confusing. So--whatever system you come up with--think long & hard about it, before it gets set in stone...

    my opinions only/not my employers
    Last edited by DKT; 05-09-2007 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Rik,

    DKT's evaluation of the situation hits the nail right on the head, especially when it comes to complexity, numbering schemes and controlled vocabulary. Having spent most of my working career developing and managing large database systems, I can vouch for the challenges involved in developing systems that permit a high degree of flexibility and interaction with other systems. The complexity can grow by orders of magnitude as more features are added.

    To address your specific question, I don't know of any commercially available, moderately priced, database systems that are targeted at cataloging and managing a physical collection of prints. I looked at a lot of systems and ended up developing my own. It specifically address the issues revolving around managing my own work, but is far from being any sort of a universal system. Individual needs can vary significantly, and if you want something that will address your specific needs you are probably going to have to create it yourself.

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