Participatory Knowledge Practices in Analogue and Digital Image Archives (PIA)

Participatory Knowledge Practices in Analogue and Digital Image Archives (PIA) is a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) under the Sinergia funding scheme from February 2021 to January 2025.

The PIA project bridges the realms of data and tangible objects through an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together cultural anthropology, technology and design to examine both analogue and digital archives. It explores participatory knowledge practices within image archives, encourages collaboration across disciplines, and develops digital tools to help contextualise and connect images. This initiative aims to improve the preservation and sharing of knowledge by inviting both the scholarly community and the public to actively participate in understanding its history and current practices. Through workshops and user interviews, the project aims to identify new needs in digital and process-oriented knowledge creation.

Using three collections from the photographic archives of Cultural Anthropology Switzerland (CAS), the project develops interfaces for collaborative indexing and access to archival content. These interfaces, including both graphical and application programming interfaces (APIs), facilitate the co-creation and visualisation of knowledge and offer a reflective and intuitive user experience. At the same time, the project is assessing the analogue and digital phases of archiving from an anthropological, technical and communicative point of view, involving experts from the University of Basel and the Bern University of the Arts.

Three collections: Atlas of the Swiss Folklore, Kreis Family, and Ernst Brunner

Atlas of the Swiss Folklore


Kreis Family


Ernst Brunner


Brunner, Ernst. [Ringtanz während der Masüras auf der Alp Sura]. Guarda, 1939. Black and White Negative, 6x6cm. SGV_12 Ernst Brunner. SGV_12N_08589