Website Review: BSR LADC

Full Name: The British School at Rome Library and Archive Digital Collections


Content: Photographic prints and negatives (120,000+) relating to the history of Italy and the Roman world

Authorship: Project leaders Valerie Scott and Alessandra Giovenco (both BSR); individual database entries do not have authors

bsrladc1entry page

Host/Maintenance: BSR; BSR; the frequency of updates is unclear

Permanence/Archiving: No information

Licensing: “All low resolution images on the BSR Library and Archive Digital Collections website may be downloaded and freely used for educational and scholarly purposes” (Reproductions page); individual entries have licensing info; there is a site copyright page explaining the different licensing formats

bsrladc2photographic section main page

Usefulness: Uncomplicated access to historic photographs of the art, architecture and excavated or ruined remains is very useful to show earlier or original conditions; the database coverage is of course stronger in some areas than others; esp. interesting is the documentation of the end-of-World-War-II efforts to safeguard Italian heritage by the Allies

Ease of Use: The interface is easy to grasp and one can easily locate groups and entries

Appeal: The system is well designed with a pleasant, calm layout


example of a photograph entry

Accessibility: The site is second in the results for the Google search for “British School at Rome Library and Archive Digital Collections ” and third for “BSR Library and Archive Digital Collections”; the entries, however, are not indexed by Google

Credibility: The site conveys a sober, scholarly vibe; there are plenty of references to the database all over the web; however, the phrase “British School at Rome Library and Archive Digital Collections” yields no results in Google Scholar (the simple search using all the same words has many results but hardly any relevant ones)

Reuse: Database entries can be exported in XML format


photos can be “zoomed”

Part of the BSR collection is available only through the separate URBS system (Unione Romana Biblioteche Scientifiche) shared with other foreign scholarly institutes in Rome. Funding is being sought for digitizing more materials: maps, documents, postcards, drawings, prints, paintings and manuscripts.


URBS entry page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *