Where Are the Pictures? Linking Photographic Records across Collections Using Fuzzy Logic.




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title




Peer reviewed



This paper describes a novel approach to interrogating different online collections to identify potential matches between them, using fuzzy logic based data mining algorithms. Potentially, information about objects from one collection could be used to enrich records in another where there are overlaps. But although there is a considerable amount of bibliographic and other kinds of data on the Web that share similar information, a standardized way of structuring such data in a way that makes it easy to identify significant relationships does not yet exist. In the case of historical photographs, the challenge is further exacerbated by the enormous breadth of subjects depicted and the fact that surviving records are not always complete, accurate or consistent and the amount of text available per record is very small. Fuzzy matching algorithms and sematic similarity techniques offer a way of finding potential matches between such items when standard ontology and corpus based approaches are inadequate, in this case helping researchers to match photographs held in different archives to historical exhibition catalogue records for the first time.


This was a collaborative project with the Centre for Computational Intelligence


information discovery, data mining, photographic history, fuzzy logic, Royal Photographic Society exhibitions


Brown, S., Croft, D. Coupland, S., Shell, J. and von Lünen, A. (2014) Where Are the Pictures? Linking Photographic Records across Collections Using Fuzzy Logic. In: Museums and the Web 2013: Selected Papers from Two International Conferences, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. pp. 117-127


Research Institute

Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)
Institute of Art and Design