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How to affordably produce a quality digital catalogue raisonné

by Katjana Berndt on

Replacing a custom solution with an all-in-one option lets you collect and publish groundbreaking research while saving time and money.

Preparing a digital catalogue raisonné isn’t always less expensive than a physical one. Custom digital solutions that require dedicated infrastructure, external developers, hardware updates, and security maintenance come with a hefty budget. While these solutions might enable you to specify every aspect of a digital catalogue raisonné, they also generate intense, ongoing budgetary and time demands. An all-in-one platform like lets you quickly publish a high-quality digital catalogue raisonné and forget about the technical maintenance for years to come.

Reduce manual labor with a programmed database designed to create digital catalogues raisonnés

Most databases used in custom solutions require individuals to enter data manually. This method leaves room for mistakes that need correction for internal purposes, and, if this information becomes published, it must be again checked in its public form. automates data entry to remove most of these manual steps. Instead of perpetually typing names, places, and institutions each time an entry requires it, people can use the platform’s Getty Vocabularies ULAN and AAT integration to search, add, and link entries. Drop-down menus let users select the type of transaction (i.e., acquisition or gift) and the people or institutions involved. Because this information is pulled directly from the Getty vocabulary, it remains consistent and easy to search. 

It took one of our digital humanities experts less than two minutes to enter a publication and link it to an artwork. Adding another artwork with two references to the same publication required less than a minute. The platform removed the need to edit and correct manual mistakes. Without preset terms for provenance and references, the manual effort accumulates and grows, and so must your budget.

Download our guide: 50 Questions to ask while preparing a digital catalogue raisonné.

Expedite the editing process of a digital catalogue raisonné with standardized information

Editing can be the most grueling part of producing a digital catalogue raisonné, and it can stand between you and a finished publication. That is why we have simplified editorial procedures as much as possible. 

Researchers can track their progress within the platform, letting others working in the system know what information is vetted and remains to be vetted. This decreases the time given to spreadsheets, aligning institutional knowledge and confusion. You can also export data reports with a click of a button to consult an external editor. Tracking the editorial process from draft to public viewing in the platform smooths it out. 

Using the standardized content also decreases the time to publication. There is no need to check the same publication multiple times for each artwork – correct once, and the corrections immediately occur in all related entries. 

Citations also become quicker to produce correctly. The platform extracts from the entered information and generates a citation-perfect reference or provenance line. This error-free, low-effort method lets you publish your data quickly and reliably. Stop wasting your time on making sure everything is perfect, and start focusing on why you started the project in the first place.

Enable researchers to do more with connected data and full-text search

Thanks to connected data, using the platform also saves readers time. Connected data describes the fact database architecture, which links all of the information recorded in the platform. Researchers can click into publications, primary sources, and other entries to learn their relationships with artworks. 

Researchers also save time with the platform's search function, which lets them do full-text searches enabled by OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Narrowing the tens of thousands of pages to just a handful removes countless hours of work.

Spend less with automatic updates and security

Most custom systems designed for digital catalogues raisonnés run on dedicated machines, which require a developer to provide ongoing protection against the latest security vulnerabilities, install updates on site, purchase new hardware, and teach researchers how to use the database., a cloud-based tool, always runs on the latest hardware. All updates and maintenance happen behind the scenes, and security best practices are applied continuously at no extra cost.

Learn more: 50 Questions to ask while preparing a digital catalogue raisonné.

Focus on artists and researchers — leave the tech to us

The most valuable commodity is time. We strive to make the creation process of diverse digital projects as simple and intuitive as possible. This allows you to focus less on your finances and more on impacting the art world.

Don’t know where to start? Read our guide: How to create and publish a digital catalogue raisonné