Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oriental Institute Museum Photo Archives Database

Oriental Institute Museum Photo Archives Database [Enter as "guest"]
[Updated 3/28/2010]

The Oriental Institute photographic archive contains more than 100,000 images dating from prior to the founding of the Oriental Institute up to the present day. The collection includes site photography, ethnographic images, object photos, event and vacation shots, and images of documents. Until recently, searching for these images was difficult at best. Beginning in the mid-1990s, we began to enter our card catalog of images into a Filemaker database. More recently, additional information was added to the database including a field for a thumbnail image. The database is now online, though not widely published.

As of February 2010, there are more than 70,000 entries from our photo catalogue in the database, 35,000 of which have an image scanned and attached.

We invite you to take a look at the database in its current beta form.

Click on the link that says 'Oriental Institute Museum Photographic Database.' At the login page, click the 'Guest Account' radio button and then click 'Login.' Use the left and right hand buttons on the screen to scroll through the database, or use the magnifying glass to search.

Photographs in our records are catalogued in several different ways. A P number refers to the photograph of an object, while an N number was given to a negative. Most images have both a P and N number. There are also S Numbers for lantern slides, SM numbers for 35mm slides, a wide variety of field number sequences, and a newer D number series for native digital images.

The current project is to complete data entry for the P. Number series. Currently we have entered 32,700 cards (out of 68,500) from the P. series. Finishing the data entry for the P number sequence will substantially complete the N and S sequences as well.

The database is a work in progress. If you find typos or other mistakes, or if you'd just like to send comments or suggestions for improvement please e-mail them to

Many of the entries in the database have images attached in a resolution that is appropriate for use in PowerPoint or other presentations. Full resolution images for study and publication are available as well. If you would like to order images, please visit

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