Daguerreobase | Collective cataloging tool for daguerreotypes


Text by Sandra M. Petrillo | WP2 coordinator Daguerreobase Project

The AthenaPlus project has recently signed a cooperation agreement with the EU project Daguerreobase. It is about time to present the project Daguerreobase | collective cataloging tool for daguerreotypes a little bit more in detail.

Daguerreobase is a public platform of archives, libraries, museums and private contributors from across Europe, its goal is to assemble and preserve information on daguerreotypes. The project aims to bring together digital images and descriptions of more than 25.000 European historical daguerreotypes and related literature. Daguerreobase is a unique research tool for daguerreotypes, not only for scientists, but also for collectors, photographers and general public.

Please click BROWSE on the Daguerreobase website!

  • You will see amazing historical pictures made by the first photographers in Europe.
  • You will find quality images of daguerreotypes in a common database.
  • You will be able to browse through daguerreotypes of landscapes, portraits, still lives, antiquities and remarkable events from the 19th century.
  • You may learn how to recognize these unique objects and how to share them with a broad public.


The Daguerreobase is intended as a non-profit research project to collect and generate as much knowledge on daguerreotypes as possible, to the benefit of all those interested: institutions, researchers, conservators, traders and owners, both professional and non-professional.

Three sculptures by Hans Gasser for the Hentzi monument in Budapest 1851

Three sculptures by Hans Gasser for the Hentzi monument in Budapest 1851

Some of the currently represented collections
More than hundred collections are currently represented in the database, among them: Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum Ludwig, Fotomuseum WestLicht, Museo nazionale del cinema, University of Bergen Library, the Ruskin Library and Research Centre, private collections and others. In the upcoming months, Daguerreobase will be further updated with more collections from Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy and new countries such as Estonia, Lettonia, Lituania, Portugal, Croatia and more. We strive to have approximately 8.000 records available by September 2014.

Daguerreobase and Europeana

The visual content and a selection of descriptive fields of Daguerreobase will soon also become available through Europeana.eu. This year Daguerreobase and Europeana will celebrate the 175th birthday of photography with a virtual exhibition of European daguerreotypes masterpieces. This event is scheduled for 19 August 2014! Please follow the opening of the exhibition on Facebook!

Join Us!
Daguerreobase is still looking for undiscovered daguerreotypes. We invite you to share your treasures in a secured digital environment. Everyone can benefit from this cooperation:
As well private as institutional collectors are encouraged to register as a member and to share their collections by adding records into Daguerreobase. If you wish to make a contribution of daguerreotype images, please click the following link:

The European Daguerreotype Association (EDA)
The European Daguerreotype Association, or EDA, is an international non-profit association of photography enthusiasts, with special interest in the history and the art of the daguerreotype.
The EDA intends to deal with the expansion and maintenance of Daguerreobase after the completion of the project in April 2015. The association will work on aggregation of new information on the early history of photography, enrichment of existing descriptions of daguerreotypes in public and private collections and linking with other collections, museums, institutes and collectors.
EDA will encourage the study of the art of daguerreotype, including the preservation and conservation of the original objects, and his relation with other forms of 19th century photography.
If you are interested to share your interest for the Daguerreotype by supporting the project, you can become a member of EDA by clicking here: http://www.daguerreobase.org/en/news/52-become-a-member-of-the-eda

Daguerreotype Journal

daguerreotype journalJust recently, Daguerreobase has published the first issue of its online journal “Daguerreotype | Sharing the International Cultural and Visual Heritage of Daguerreotypes”. The desire to share their passion for the daguerreotype was the main motivation for founding this free online publication, which is dedicated to words and images concerning the aesthetics, the science, the history and the art of creating daguerreotype images, in the past as well as now.

You can download the complete journal from the website of the Daguerreobase project. If you are interested to submit an article for the next issue (October, 2014) please write to: daguerreotype.journal[at]gmail.com

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