Colour & Shape: Using Computer Vision to Explore the Science Museum Group Collection


This article analyses a selection of the Science Museum Group Collection. We examined over 7,000 photographs of objects from 21 categories. The categories were selected on the basis that they contained large numbers of everyday or familiar objects. These categories range from photographic technology to time measurement, lighting to printing and writing, and domestic appliances to navigation.¹

The photographs allow us to study the form of objects — their shape, colour and texture. The insights gleaned can be used to enrich a museum’s catalogue and expand the ways of searching through the online collection. More broadly, this analysis shows how a photographic dataset can shed new light on a museum’s collection.