Map of the globe shows lines crossing between different spots on the map. The lines show how art has moved from place to place.

Visualization of the location and movement of artworks that where once part of the Northbrook Collection.

Art Tracks Digital Provenance Project

Art Tracks is an initiative of the Carnegie Museum of Art that aims to turn the history of ownership of an object “provenance” into structured data by building a suite of open source software tools. These tools transform traditional written provenance records into searchable data, with an emphasis on existing data standards and a strong focus on building tools that are useful, and usable, across multiple institutions.

Once provenance information is converted into structured data, we can ask complex questions like “Which works in our collection were in the same city in the same year?” or “Which artworks in our collection were owned by an artist whose work is also in our collection?” By doing more with the data we already have, we can discover gaps in knowledge, shape collections policy, and better understand the ecosystem of the collection and the institution.