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How to Manage Research Images

Getting Started

There are many ways to manage and arrange your research photographs.  One tool that can be helpful is Tropy, a free, open-source software that allows researchers to organize and describe photographs of research materials.  You can read more about the software on the Tropy website.

The following video will provide a brief overview of Tropy: Introduction to Tropy

Important Things to Know

Tropy software works with the following file formats:

  • PDF
  • PNG
  • SVG
  • TIFF
  • GIF

Tropy DOES NOT store photographs.  To use photos within Tropy, access to the original files is required so the files should be stored on your computer or in the cloud (i.e., GooglePhotos).

1. Download Tropy Software

Note: Skip this step if you are borrowing a Reading Room laptop. The software is already installed. 

Visit Tropy's website and download the appropriate software for your operating system.

Follow on-screen installation instructions after software downloads.

2. Create a Project within Tropy 

Tropy will prompt you to create a new project after opening the software. 


Note: Think of a project in broad terms (e.g.,  an entire archival collection, research topic, book, or thesis) since only one project can be open in Tropy at a time.

Projects are saved by default to the Documents folder on your hard drive.  You can choose a different folder for the project when you create the project

Once a project is created, Project View will be visible (example below).


3. Importing Photos

There are multiple ways to import photos using Tropy. 

  1. Navigate to File > Import photos.  You can import single, or multiple images files, or entire folders of images.
  2. Drag and drop photos into Project View. (NOTE: At this time, this feature is only available with Microsoft software.)​

When you import an image file, Tropy makes thumbnail copies of your photographs.  The original photo remains in its original storage location.