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Published: March 15, 2001.


Collage and Content-based Image Retrieval: Collaboration for enhanced services for the London Guildhall Library
Annette Ward , Institute for Image Data Research, UK
Neil Eliot , University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK
Margaret Graham , University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK
Jonathan Riley , University of Northumbria, UK
Nic Sheen , iBase Image Systems, UK
John Eakins , University of Northumbria, UK
Alice Barnaby , Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, UK

Session: Collaborations

Museum, library, archive, and other cultural heritage database collections are growing along with their numbers of users. Traditional methods of image retrieval will be insufficient. Content-based image retrieval (CBIR), a computer technique for retrieving images based on color, texture, and shape, locates visually similar matches for a selected painting, print, drawing, or other objects. The technique will become increasingly useful when combined with traditional methods of accessing images.

Collage, the Corporation of London Guildhall Library and Guildhall Art Gallery

22,400 digital image collection, was selected as a test site for the application and evaluation of CBIR. The Institute for Image Data Research (IIDR) at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and iBase Image Systems, developer of the Collage software, collaborated with the London Guildhall Library to introduce CBIR technology for image retrieval on the Collage web site.

Initial evaluation of the CBIR feature by an online questionnaire indicated the majority of the respondents thought CBIR was useful, results were satisfactory and interesting, it was a good method to retrieve images, and they would like to use it again. Information derived from the results is important for developing and applying software to refine visual search retrieval.

This research is supported by a grant from Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (CMAL/RE/103) and is part of an ongoing study, Evaluation of Content-based Image Retrieval in an Operational Setting, conducted at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, Institute for Image Data Research.