We have found that Airtable provides a fantastic platform to organize and promote our photographic collection. In addition to creating a virtual gallery of our images, Airtable also allows us attach metadata to our collection, ensuring that important information on a photograph’s provenance or relationship to other collection items is not lost. We’ve been able to physically remove photographs from acidic and non-archival albums that threatened to damage them, knowing that we can preserve an intellectual arrangement.
One of our favorite features on Airtable are the subject tags, which allow users to search for people, places, and events of interest. With this, we’re not limited to traditional archival hierarchies, nor do we have to sort photographs into single categories. If users want to search for images of a particular building AND a notable person, they’re able to do this by using multiple filters. These subject tags have also allowed us to inventory the collection and easily search for images to use in an upcoming exhibit.
Airtable even allows us to embed our database on our webpage:
Airtable has provided the museum with a method to gain intellectual control over its photographic collection and has already made the collection accessible to a much wider audience. We look forward on continuing to expand our collection and the audience it reaches.