Tropy is in beta.

This means that Tropy is not yet a stable piece of software. Though we anticipate that from this point on, all projects will migrate as the software is updated, please use the beta with caution. Make backups of your project files (which is good practice anyway). And if you run into trouble, write to us on the forums.

What is Tropy?

Tropy is free open-source desktop software that allows you to organize and describe photographs of research material. Once you have imported your photos into Tropy, you can combine photos into items (e.g., photos of the three pages of a letter into a single item), and group photos into lists. You can also describe the content of a photograph. Tropy uses customizable metadata templates with multiple fields for different properties of the content of your photo, for example, title, date, author, box, folder, collection, archive. You can enter information in the template for an individual photo or select multiple photos and add or edit information to them in bulk. Tropy also lets you add tags to describe the content of a photo. You can also add one or more notes to a photo; a note could be a transcription of a document. A search function lets you find material in your photos, using the information in the metadata, tags, and notes.

  • Tropy is NOT photo editing software (e.g., Photoshop). It offers only basic editing functions (rotate, crop, zoom, adjust contrast) sufficient to allow you to make the content of a photo legible. -- not available in Beta version
  • Tropy is NOT a citation manager (e.g., Zotero). It does not capture metadata from online catalogs or finding aids. It does not generate citations for use in word processing software. Nor can you export records from Tropy to Zotero.
  • Tropy is NOT a platform for writing up your research (e.g., DEVONthink). It allows to you to take notes attached to photos. It does not allow you to create any other kind of document.
  • Tropy is NOT a platform for presenting your research online (e.g., Omeka). It operates on your desktop, not in your browser. You can export your projects to platforms that can be used to present material online, including to Omeka -- not available in Beta version

Preparing to Use Tropy

Where are your photos?

To organize and describe your photos, you need to import them into Tropy. The first step in using Tropy is to identify where on your computer those photos are stored--- identify the folder and how to get to it from your desktop.

Are your photos in the format required by Tropy?

Tropy works only with .jpg/.jpeg files. It does NOT work with .tiff, .png, or .gif files. You may need to convert your photos to JPG in order to use Tropy.

Beta version: Tropy will include photo editing tools that allow you to make basic changes to a photo, such as rotating it. These tools are not available in the beta version. If you have photos that are oriented vertically not horizontally, you may want to change the orientation before importing them into Tropy.

Download Tropy.

To use Tropy, you need to download a copy of the software from the Download page at Tropy is free software; there is no cost to download or use it. Tropy is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux. Choose the version for your operating system; once Tropy has downloaded, open it and follow the prompts to install it on your computer.

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