PhotoLit is a databank on photographic literature. It aims to list all photographic literature published since 1839 (all countries, all languages), and is accessible for free. It is NOT a list to order books from. At present (November 2018) the online version of PhotoLit lists ca. 45.500 entries of books, periodicals and periodical articles, essays etc. which have – in a wider or more narrow sense – to do with photography in all its artistic, visual and technical aspects. The stock listed so far is only a small portion of the world’s existent photographic literature – but titles are constantly added to.
Individual hints, the contents of private and public libraries, of information supplied by specialized bookshops, from bibliographies or other book listings, from the net – and much else - have been added since the last update. Though the general aim is to include as much data from public collections as possible this has proved difficult due to the fact that a transfer of electronic data also needs data formating which is often too much of a demand on PhotoLit’s limited personal and technical resources. But we also ask your assistance to make PhotoLit more complete: Send us your information about your photo books: Contact email@example.com.
As PhotoLit has been founded in Germany it yet reflects listings which are predominantly German or English language based. An internationalisation is definitely aimed for. In spite of its present language-based handicaps (see below) PhotoLit already offers sometimes remarkably interesting research results if used creatively. And, sorry! - lists on this page might occasionally produce a double entry not yet removed from the original files, or a few might be incomplete.
PhotoLit is a database originally based on the program Claris FileMaker. FileMaker works in Windows and Mac environments. The program offers good search and sorting functions plus fast access of a large number of titles. Single entries or the result of search runs can be exported e.g. to Microsoft Word, or imported from Word or Excel lists. The PhotoLit data CD (without program, of course) is available for a nominal fee of 20 $/€ from firstname.lastname@example.org. The CD version is well suited not only for advanced research but also for the accession of one’s own photographic library as many titles on own shelves will have been bibliographically recorded already, and so might save much cataloguing time.
Hans Christian Adam
"I have been using PhotoLit constantly since I learned about its existence a few weeks ago. This is an invaluable contribution to the advancement of photographic research, and a tool so many of us have been dreaming about. On behalf of all of us thank you."
Nissan Perez, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Dez. 2002.
"I was astonished to see PhotoLit has not only blossomed to include 23,000 [now 45.500+] entries but in such an elegant and simple web accessible database. It is a very important resource work and an excellent example of the spirit of the Internet."
Edward Earle, International Center of Photography, New York, Nov. 2002.