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NYPL’s PIC Lets You Explore the Lives and Works of Famous Photographers



The New York Public Library has launched a new online resource called the Photographers’ Identities Catalog (PIC). If researching the world of photography is your thing, then you’ll love this site: it features the biographical info of over 100,000 photographers and other businesses in the industry.


The scope of the project is vast: it covers the entire world and the entire history of the medium.

Search for any notable photographer, and you’ll get an impressive amount of info in return. The site lists basic info like gender and birth and death locations, but it also reveals harder-to-find details as well, including all the art collections around the world that own the photographer’s work, various links to other sites online about the photographer, a map of where the photographer was active, the photographic processes they used, and more.


The built-in search and filtering options are powerful: you can do things such as find all the notable female photographers in a specific country, find the earliest photographers who used a specific process, find notable photographers who used the obscure process you’re interested in, etc.

PIC is just the latest online system to offer the public an easy way to explore a vast amount of photographic information. Others include Yale’s Photogrammar and the NYPL’s public domain visualization tool.

As of March 2016, there are roughly 115,700 names listed in the PIC database, and more will be added over time. You can dive into PIC yourself by heading over to the official website.