The Daguerreobase is an online application designed to contain detailed information about daguerreotypes. Members can view, edit and store records of individual daguerreotypes and establish relations to other records based on a wide range of characteristics. This includes collections, owners, creators, hallmarks, housing models, sizes, materials and free text descriptions.
The Daguerreobase is intended as an non-profit research project to collect and generate as much knowledge on daguerreotypes as possible, to the benefit of all those interested: institutions, researchers, conservators, traders and owners, both professional and non-professional.
The Daguerreobase project was initiated in 2004 by the Conservation department of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam. By that time, the conservation studio had seen a multitude of daguerreotypes coming and going. The process of conservation usually involved extensive condition reports and visual documentation, both externally and internally.
Realizing the amount of precious information disclosed during the conservation process, head of the department Hans de Herder saw the necessity of an independent and open system to centralize this information on an international, cross-institutional level. Nickel van Duijvenboden, Herman Maes and Boudewijn Ridder developed a primary database using Filemaker Pro. In 2009, the completed database was converted into an online application.
The first online version of the Daguerreobase was launched in March 2009. Currently the software is still a beta version, though it is fully functional and open for registration. Where needed, the developers and editors are actively testing and optimizing the Daguerreobase. Users are welcome to participate in the process of making the Daguerreobase as steady and complete as possible.
All memberships are free, but you are asked to register as a member wether as an individual or an institution.