I Manually Archived the Entire Prado Museum Collection - Here's Why

What drove me to manually archive the art of the Prado Museum? It took 8 days but I got it done! πŸ˜€

I Manually Archived the Entire Prado Museum Collection - Here's Why

Some of us like to collect digital "things" and these things can be anything from documents, photos, books, comics, movies, television shows and more. You get the idea right? Well, there's a term for people who have collections that are large and I'll let you be the judge on how large it has to be. It's called Data Hoarding.

How it all began

Now, I think most of us have a bit of this (what I'll call) archiving trait deep down inside of us. Over the last couple years, as I have gotten older, I am realizing how precious things are. For me, this is mostly photos and family videos. Part of me never want's to think about these items disappearing or getting lost and forgotten. I want them to live on through the centuries to come, much like fine art. You see where this is going?

What you don't know is I have a tremendous passion for history. It's always been my favorite subject in school and topic of discussion other than technical talk of-course.

What is the Prado Museum?

You can learn more about the art and how it was obtained by the museum by clicking here and scrolling down.

I subscribed to the r/DataHoarder sub Reddit about a year ago and ever since then this archiving trait has been more and more enabled by people who share the same premise behind why this is so important. Well, 8 days ago, a cross post was made about the Prado Museum digitizing their complete collection on r/DataHoarder. They offer "free for personal use" downloads of every single piece of art on their site. However, there's over 3k pieces to download and 264 artists. So someone asked "Who's up to scraping it?"

The archiving process

I thought to myself "how hard could this be?" and I was in for a surprise. I tried a few tools to scrape the site but nothing I tried worked. I wasn't about to do this all by hand. That is until I began going through the art pieces and read a few artist bios. My love for history took over and I was hooked. To me this wasn't work, it was a pleasure to download all this art by hand and I had a great time doing it! I organized it all alphabetically into artist folders including a text file with the artist biography. I didn't take the time to create text files for the description of every piece of art though because that would have taken a very long time to do and I was not looking to get arthritis or sacrifice my health to do this. The mild neck fatigue was enough for me! It took me 8 days at about 4 hours a day to complete this task.

ZurbarΓ‘n, Francisco de | The Defense of Cadiz against the English | Prado Museum

Why did I archive the Prado Museum?

I didn't do this for my own selfish interests but for the people of the future to learn, witness and carry on these memories whether it be my own family or the entire world. I believe things we love and cherish should be archived and shared with the world for as long as we are able to do it.

We live in a digital world and it's easier now than ever before to preserve information. So if you have the means to do it then know you're doing the future a favor whether they know it or not. It might be small or it might be big, that's up to the future generations to decide.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn | Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes | Prado Museum

Download the Prado Museum Archive

The Prado Museum collection can be downloaded in it's entirety here. The password is datahoarder πŸ˜‰. There are two separate folders. One has the original sizes and the other has both the original sizes and 4x up-scaled copies. The originals are 1920p while the up-scaled are 4x that size.

Torrent magnet url



The collection is being served by the self hosted app Filebrowser!

Final Notes and Thoughts

The experience of downloading the Prado Museum archive was actually very invigorating in a sense that it gave me a new found love for art and the history behind it. This experience drove me to learn more about art and even possibly take it up as a hobby in the near future. It's a great way for me to relieve stress and I think we could all use a good stress reliever!