Explore is an image search tool created for the Visual Contagions project at the Faculty of Letters, University of Geneva.

Terms of Use and Citation

The user agrees to cite the project and its contributors for each use. The citation terms are as follows: "Explore - a global database of images in illustrated periodicals. The Visual Contagions Project, SNF192821, Université de Genève, dir. Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, [date of consultation]".

Featured Corpus

[PUBLIC] Open Access Periodicals, Mainly 1890-1950, Europe, N. America

3.6 million images in 145834 documents

Corpus contenant des ressources collectées par le projet Visual Contagions. Le corpus est constitué de titres provenant de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, de la …

Explore enables the study of image circulation within millions of historical illustrated publications. The available dataset currently comprises 3,651,742 issues of 80,965 journals that were published between 1797 and 2021 across the world. These journals are all accessible in open access, in IIIF format, and distributed by international institutions.

About Explore

The algorithms utilized by Explore operate in several stages.

  • They extract the illustrations from each page of the publications;
  • They compare the illustrations extracted from different pages to identify similarities between them;
  • The images are grouped based on their similarity;
  • The illustrations within each group are arranged chronologically
  • With the platform, you can also search in the dataset for the images that are similar to any other image from your computer.

Join the project

For connected users, additional features are available. These include:

  • access non OA illustrated material;
  • compose and organize your own corpus;
  • add elements non-native IIIF material;
  • extract illustrations from all pages (92% precision 93% recall on CBAD2019);
  • select image clusters and organize of these clusters into series;
  • comparative spatiotemporal mapping of image dissemination within a given cluster

Have questions?

Send us an e-mail