Image Grid DAI Rome

The Digital Photo Archive of the DAI Rome

The catalogs of the Vatican Museums by Walter Amelung

The Inventory registers of the DAI Rome photo archive

The agglomeration of data in Arachne over the last three years led to the insight that the manual labour of creating metadata for every image seemed impractical. Between 2002 and 2007 the number of images stored in Arachne expanded from 50,000 to 200,000; our present stock of 820,000 images represents an increase of around 400%. In cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Rome, the “image_grid project” is seeking to solve these problems.

With the “image_grid project” we have automatically contextualised about 400,000 images from the photo library of the DAI Rome. Since its founding in 1928, the photo library of the DAI Rome has become one of the world ́s most im- portant archives for archaeological imagery and many scientists from all over the world visit it, in order to study these images.

The images were digitized using old microfche-slides and the only information was a printed index. We have created a digital image database using OCR, in order to take the structure of this index and by using the negative numbers of the images. We have also linked images automatically with complex metadata, which are derived from digitized inventories, scientifc reference works, images, which are now already stored in Arachne and other sources. Negative numbers are also used to connect images with OCR-texts (as in the iDAI.Bookbrowser or GoogleBooks), and by extracting knowledge from these books via text-mining we can connect new metadata to these digital images.