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PHAROS: A Digital Research Space for Photo Archives

February 2020

Published onFeb 29, 2020
PHAROS: A Digital Research Space for Photo Archives

Caraffa, Costanza, Emily  Pugh, and Tracy  Stuber, et. al."PHAROS: A Digital Research Space for Photo Archives"  Art Libraries Journal  45(1)(January 2020): 2 - 11. ( - Fourteen international research institutes have joined together to digitize more than 20 million images from their art historical photo archives. The consortium, named PHAROS, intends to save "from destruction photographic collections neglected and forgotten in the cabinets and storerooms of many institutions” and provide access to researchers around the globe, but that is only part of the project. They will also have to make decisions about "how to build a digital infrastructure for research in support of art history..." The goal is to create linked open data (LOD) and use it in a British Museum application called ResearchSpace, which was designed to "connect similarly structured data across the web." The third aspect of the project consists of research into the differences between how a computer sees a photograph "based on pixel data" using "computationally-based approaches" versus how a human art historian sees a photograph. This study of "computer vision" or "computational analysis of images" has the potential to create whole new areas in the study of art historical photographs, and reveal insights that will advance "the integration of analogue and digital assets..." - NN

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