Expansive versus archive limited

Hi, I’ve watched the youtube seminars and read the documentation. I’m trying to figure out why you suggest making tropy projects expansive. I have hundreds of photos from each archive I’ve worked in and it seems to make more sense to have different projects for each archive, or different projects for each chapter, rather than one large one. Can you explain why you suggest expansive?

Good question! I think it’s what is or isn’t part of the same project depends very much on the photographs in question. Similar to selections, photos, items and lists, a project is just another level of abstractions: like all things in Tropy it is designed to be as generic as possible and it’s up to you to decide how Tropy’s levels abstraction map to your research subject. For example, I could imagine a research project that consists of multiple different project files. At the same time, it’s also possible to have a single Tropy project file for multiple different research projects. A Tropy project file is not unlike a document for a word processor: you can write a book using a single file or you could use one file per chapter, it’s up to you.

One obvious benefit of a single project file is that it’s easy to search and work with common metadata; for instance, if you study manuscripts or letters and annotate their contents you will get things like auto-completion for common names or other data that you use. Furthermore, it’s easier to search for information if it’s all in a single project file. If you keep multiple project files, you can still share items, for example, by copy and pasting them from one one project to the other – but this way you’re creating copies that will not stay automatically up-to-date across files as you make changes.

The downside of a single project is size. If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of photos in the project, you may run into performance issues.

Thank you so much! This is so helpful. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to screw myself up if I had multiple project files. I’m really enjoying tropy and found all the webinars incredibly helpful.