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Getting Sidetracked: Image Databases Part 5.

And on we go! Or on I go, and you are along for the ride. Well. Whatever.

We’ll start today’s list off with another online collections database – that of the National Museums Scotland. If you’re looking for things from the Orkneys, among other finds, it’s the place for you. (There are spindle whorls and spindles, by the way.)

Not an image database, but a links collection, and a nice way to start off an image serch are the pages from Larsdatter (which you will probably know, but I am listing them here as they have just turned up in the bookmark list, and they are worth a look).

Theoretically an image/object database, but the search function does not work for me, is the Kult.Doku database. (Probably the php scripts are outdated, as the site is from 2003). It collects treasures shown in Austrian Landesausstellungen (big national exhibitions) in a database, with information taken from the exhibition catalogues. You can browse the catalogue entries, though – “Ausstellungen” gets you to a map of Austria, where you can select a federal state. That gets you a list of all the exhibitions there, some of which have their data online and if you click these links, you get the list of objects. A little awkward, but a nice way of getting an overview on things.

A proper database, with tagged images, is Mandragore. It searches images from manuscripts in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, provided you know the French word for what you are looking for. You will see a thumbnail and can see a slightly larger image as well, but the ones I took a closer look at were usually too small and/or too low in resolution to make out details properly. There is a remedy for that, though, at least in some cases – armed with the knowledge of what image you want to see, from what manuscript and on which folio, heed over to Gallica, the search engine for the BNF, and search there for the manuscript to enjoy the digitised page in very good resolution. You can also use Gallica to search for other images and books.

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