Within the framework of the SEPIA (Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access) project, the Working Group on Descriptive Models developed a model and set of recommendations for cataloguing photographic collections. This model, called SEPIADES, consists of a wide range of suggested elements to describe digitally born as well as analogue photographic materials. It allows cataloguing on item as well as grouping or collection level.

On the basis of these recommendations, in close cooperation with the Working Group, an open-source software tool has been built to implement the SEPIADES model. The main features of the SEPIADES software tool are:
– multi-level description, allowing users to create their own hierarchy
– flexible and easy customizing to specific demands of users, providing extensive control over interface and contents
– cross-platform, running on Microsoft Windows 98 (1st or 2nd edition), NT 4.0 (with Service Pack 5 or later), ME, XP, and 2000 (with Service Pack 2 or later), OS X and Linux kernel v 2.2.12 and glibc v2.1.2-11 or later
– storage of records in human-readable XML format
– export function to Dublin Core according to recommended Dublin Core mapping by SEPIA Working Group on Descriptive Models
– search-and-retrieval function, based on Jakarta Lucene
– implementation of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), enabling users to share their data with others with minimal effort
– programmed in Java, allowing flexible integration with existing descriptive software packages
– GNU LGPL license, open source release
– UTF-8 compliant

Version 1.1. of the software tool can now be freely downloaded (as zip file) from On this webpage you will find more background information, a user manual and technical documentation on the software tool.

We greatly encourage everyone to have a look at the tool and hope it will contribute to improve accessibility to our shared visual memory,

Kristin Aasbø
Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority/ National Library of Norway
Isabel Ortega García
National Library of Spain
Anne Isomursu
Finnish Museum of Photography
Torsten Johansson
Stockholm City Museum/ The Royal Library- National Library of Sweden
Edwin Klijn
European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)

PS: For any comments, questions, remarks etc. please contact
About SEPIA:

European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)
P.O. Box 19121, NL-1000 GC Amsterdam,
visiting address: c/o KNAW, Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29,
NL-1011 JV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel. ++31 – 20 – 551 08 39 fax ++31 – 20 – 620 49 41

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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