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I am looking for a web-based solution for cataloguing photos. By web-based I mean something that I can install on my own web server, LAMP open-source solution would be best. Cloud-based services are out of question.

By cataloguing I mean much more than just tagging, giving stars or deriving exposure etc. data from EXIF. The problem is that practically all PHP or other web solutions of this kind are focused on photography enthusiasts whereas my use case is quite different.

The use case is cataloguing archival, historical photos. Those photos are scanned from film or prints, then they are catalogued in two steps by different users.

In the first step the user who did the scanning is uploading the photos and should be able to batch tag all the scans from same roll of film with information like number of roll, its type (film maker and type - if possible to tell), type (colour, b&w, negative or positive, size) and possibly some others (like preservation state).

Then other users are going through and adding additional information like:

  • a description,
  • date taken if known,
  • year taken (if known or assessed based on what is on the image),
  • author (if known),
  • original equipment used (if known),
  • location (if known or if can be guessed from what is on the image),
  • list of people that they were able to identify on the photo (so that later we can have a list of people somewhere and be able to display all images with a given person on them),
  • thematical tags or keywords (eg. horse racing, automobile, street, field),
  • whether the image has been so processed (described, catalogued) already or not,
  • possibly some further fields, that I am not aware of yet.

The best would be something similar to the well known PHP Gallery3, but with the added functions that I need. In fact ability to add & search through various fields would be enough however it should be fairly intuitive for the users and the must be able to see the image while describing/cataloguing it. I did some searching, but everything I found was either for product catalogs or for artists to showcase their photography or for people to display their holiday photos.

So far I was unable to find anything suitable. Web searches usually lead to pages describing the use of Adobe Lightroom and similar tools, but this is not what I need (eg. I don't need any processing of the images except producing thumbnails etc.). Any help appreciated, even better search terms.

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Looking at your requirements, there are some apps that are worth looking at:

I suggest trying out their demos, so that you can decide what works best for you.

There is also a comprehensive list here with other suggestions.

Edit: A more recent list of photo and video galleries.

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  • Thank you for these suggestions! Went through the projects and none has the features that need. They all focus on handling contemporary images, where EXIF for example makes sense. The list on Wikipedia is actually very short. So thanks for trying to help, but I keep on looking. – Andy Feb 3 at 16:36
  • I thought some of your requirements can be met by adding custom fields for the additional information or writing into metadata? Please confirm. I know, for instance piwigo, has an extension for this e.g. piwigo.org/ext/extension_view.php?eid=769 – Z Z Feb 4 at 8:10
  • You can search for a more appropriate plugin as there are others. – Z Z Feb 4 at 8:20

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