Today we’re releasing the first beta version of Tropy, free and open-source software that helps you organize and describe your research photographs.

Created with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Tropy is designed to meet the needs of researchers who use digital cameras and mobile devices to collect hundreds or thousands of photographs of archival documents and other research items. Imported into Tropy, those photographs can easily be organized, described, and annotated, and then rapidly sorted and searched.

This version is intended for testing purposes only. As with any beta software, you should not plan to use Tropy for your “live” research, and certainly not for any production work. Instead we recommend that you import and organize some representative examples of your research, and then use the Tropy support forums to share your experience and provide us with feedback. Photo archives created with the Tropy beta will not be automatically upgraded as new versions of Tropy are released, and you may not be able to migrate any work done in this version to later releases. This beta also lacks some core functionality that remains under development: photo editing tools, a metadata template editor, and export of photos and associated metadata.

Highlights of this release:

  • Stack photos to create multi-page or multiple-perspective research items.
  • Describe a research item using customizable metadata templates with fields for each property of the content of your photo (e.g., title, date, author, archive name, collection, box, folder).
  • Add or edit metadata for items one-by-one, or simultaneously modify it across large batches of items.
  • Organize research items into lists (e.g., by chapter of a book or thesis, or a section of an article).
  • Tag your items, either individually or in batches.
  • Annotate your photos or transcribe their content in a notes editor.
  • Search across your entire research photo library using text contained in research item metadata, notes, and tags.

Download Tropy for macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Consult the documentation to learn about Tropy’s features and how to work with the software.

Share your feedback with our team in the Tropy forums.