“Daguer­robase” is a non­pro­f­it re­search pro­ject in which archives, li­braries, mu­se­ums, and pri­vate col­lec­tors through­out Eu­rope col­lab­o­rate. In a publi­c­ly ac­ces­si­ble knowl­edge database en­ti­tled “Daguer­robase,” dig­i­tal pho­to­graph­ic re­pro­duc­tions of at least 25,000 daguerreo­types are to be gathered and con­soli­dat­ed.

Daguerreo­typy was the first vi­able pho­to­graph­ic tech­nique (1830–60). Each daguerreo­type­—­named af­ter the in­ven­tor of the tech­nique, Louis Jac­ques Mandé Daguer­re—is a one of a kind that, in con­trast to other pho­to­graph­ic im­age car­ri­ers, can­not be du­pli­cat­ed. To­day daguerreo­types are rare in Eu­rope and scat­tered among in­sti­tu­tio­n­al and pri­vate col­lec­tions. Many as­pects of daguerreo­typy are still in need of re­search, al­though its cul­tu­r­al his­to­ry is of enor­mous sig­ni­f­i­cance. Daguer­robase aims to con­tribute to this body of knowl­edge and to pro­mote re­search on the first pho­to­graph­ic tech­nique. At the Mu­se­um Lud­wig we are re­spon­si­ble for in­dex­ing the daguerreo­typy hold­ings in north­ern and cen­tral Ger­many. 

The pro­ject was of­fi­cial­ly launched on Novem­ber 1, 2012. As part of the “Eu­ro­pea­na,” the joint on­line database of the Eu­ro­pean Union, the pro­ject is sup­port­ed by fund­ing from the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion, as part of the sev­enth gen­er­al pro­gram for re­search and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment.

A be­ta ver­sion of the database is al­ready avai­l­able at www.daguer­robase.org. In Fall 2013 a new, mul­ti­lin­gual Daguer­robase por­tal will go on­line. This new, us­er-friend­ly por­tal will al­so of­fer pri­vate col­lec­tors the op­por­tu­ni­ty to feed their daguerreo­types in­to the sys­tem on their own and to sup­p­ly, within their ca­pa­bil­i­ties, an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of their own ob­ject. This will help en­sure that the database will cont­in­ue to ex­pand. 

The Daguer­robase Con­sor­ti­um has eigh­teen part­n­er mem­bers from thir­teen Eu­ro­pean coun­tries, com­prised of archives, li­braries, mu­se­ums, and pri­vate col­lec­tors. Along with the Ned­er­lands Fo­to­mu­se­um in Rot­ter­dam and the Mu­se­um Lud­wig in Cologne, th­ese in­clude the Fo­to­mu­se­um An­tw­erp as well as in­sti­tu­tions such as the Cen­tre Na­tio­n­al de l’Au­dio­vi­suel in Lux­em­burg, the Na­tio­n­al Li­brary of Nor­way, the Roy­al Li­brary of Den­mark, and the Mu­se­um Conser­va­tion Ser­vices of Great Bri­tain.

If you have ques­tions about Daguer­robase or are in­ter­est­ed in co­op­er­at­ing with us, please con­tact us:
Dr Miri­am Hal­wani, Mu­se­um Lud­wig, hal­wanimu­se­um-lud­wig.de

More in­for­ma­tion on the Daguer­robase-Pro­ject can be down­load­ed here.