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Covering Photography

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covering photography

Covering Photography is a web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design. It was created by Karl Baden, who wanted to make publicly available his 1000+ collection of images of classic photos, used and recontextualized in various ways on book covers.  He envisioned a database which could be searched by a variety of categories (author, photographer, etc.) and which could display juxtaposed images of book covers to allow for comparison.  The project is of interest to students of photography (he uses it in the courses he teaches), designers and critics alike, and has received national acclaim.

The IDES web development team created a database to house the site using an open-source software package called Drupal. Karl himself designed the homepage, and consulted on the “theming” of the interior pages. His posted reflections on the book covers, photographs and photographers begin a conversation which he invites others to join, by registering (for free) and adding comments themselves. The project has been featured in the Boston Globe (November 4, 2005), the WBUR Arts Blog, and Eye Magazine.

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Project Team

Project Director/Designer

  • Karl Baden Dept. of Fine Arts (A&S)

Project Manager

  • Sarah Castricum Instructional Designer IDeS

Database Development

  • James Walker Instructional Web Developer IDeS
  • Bradley Mering Graduate Web Developer IDeS

Database Theming

  • Nirmal Trivedi Graduate Web Assistant IDeS

Content Preparation

  • Michelle Ng Student Assistant IDeS

Karl also extends his thanks to Mark Caprio and Robert Gerrity of Boston College O'Neill Library; Chris Killip, who exhibited books from the project at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for Visual Art; Chantal Zakari and Mike Mandel.