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Photos rescued from a skip


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This is what is happening to a treasure trove of archive images.

 

Dumped in a skip unwanted. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-63871358

 

Thousands of photographs taken by Coventry photographer Arthur Cooper from the 1940s up to the 1960s have been digitized and released online by Coventry University.

Edited by geogphotos
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Interesting that he was still using glass plates, or perhaps there are just a few from early on and it's been misreported.

Incidentally the login activation emails aren't arriving.

Edited by spacecadet
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Well, that's a good news story, Coventry Digital looks like a great initiative.

 

"Coventry Digital is made by its users. If you have an archive, such as a set of family or buiness photographs, then please contact us to discuss contributing. Your account can be changed to a Contributor account, which means you add images, video, documents and audio to Coventry Digital. The more we add, the better a city resource it will be for now and future generations.

If the images aren't digital, we can arrange to work with you to digitise your prints or negatives too. We worked with Julie Hill to digitise her great Grandfather's glass negatives and autochromes of Coventry from the Edwardian times. Click on the link below to see what we do."

 

(yes, there's a typo on the home page 'buiness')

 

I wonder what happens to the copyright? The verification process for registering doesn't seem to be automated.

 

Correction - received my verification email from Coventry Digital.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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45 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I wonder what happens to the copyright?

Having logged on now I can see that the copyright for the images of Julie Hill's great grandfather, JJ Ward, is displayed as 'JJ Ward', so that seems good.

 

On the other hand the Arthur Cooper pictures that I've looked at (there are many lightboxes to view) are credited to Mirrorpix, but I guess he may have been working for them at the time, and they scanned them.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Posted (edited)

You mention copyright. There is this huge issue over what to do with Orphan Works - what happens to all that material, especially from amateurs created in the post war period and now being dumped and flogged off at auctions?

 

Ironically, the protection offered by copyright works means that these OWs have next to no commercial value. And without that, unless there is a similar project to that set up by Coventry University ( and well done to them!), these images of great historical importance are being lost for ever - literally in many cases to landfill.

Edited by geogphotos
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Should any other Americans stumble upon this (interesting) thread, it's called a "dumpster" over here. Otherwise, we face the same issues. People are finding remarkable collections in the trash/rubbish.

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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

Having logged on now I can see that the copyright for the images of Julie Hill's great grandfather, JJ Ward, is displayed as 'JJ Ward', so that seems good.

 

On the other hand the Arthur Cooper pictures that I've looked at (there are many lightboxes to view) are credited to Mirrorpix, but I guess he may have been working for them at the time, and they scanned them.

From the BBC piece, he worked for various titles, and at least one (Telegraph) is now owned by Trinity Mirror/Reach so they've presumably inherited the rights.

Mirrorpix have a few hundred up credited to Arthur Cooper, including the BBC's headline image.

 

Deffo some glass- see the one with the corner snapped off!

https://www.mirrorpix.com/?17422710581083042885

 

 

Edited by spacecadet
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18 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

From the BBC piece, he worked for various titles, and at least one (Telegraph) is now owned by Trinity Mirror/Reach so they've presumably inherited the rights.

Mirrorpix have a few hundred up credited to Arthur Cooper, including some of these.

I'm not entirely clear how they restrict the way that these pictures may be used, there is a section on 'Baskets' which suggests that there is the option to choose licence details and arrive at a fee, but I don't seem to have the ability to create a basket. 

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16 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

The first 3 case studies on this page are of interest in terms of copyright

 

 

I'll give you another example that didn't work out so well. I bought a box of ephemera from an auction all related to a Prep School in Beckenham which closed in early 1970s.  There were clues in and on the suitcase that it all came in. I used my Ancestry account to work out who the photographer was - the person who owned the school from buying it in 1938. There are class photos and images of school activities, sports days, trophies, various odds and sods etc. Also pics of her holidays and travels that would be of interest to me for my website and Alamy Archive.

 

I sent a message through Ancestry to somebody who seemed to be related. They replied enthusiastically that this was Aunt So and So and how pleased they were to hear from me. So I offered to let them have most of the stuff - post it all to them - but then directed them to my website and explained about how I was digitising old slides for potential publication etc. I enquired about possible copyright transfer. 

 

No answer.

 

Sent another friendly reminder about how some of the pics really deserved to be more widely seen and were of genuine interest etc

 

No answer.

 

I suspect because they are petrified that I might be making money. So what happens now, I can't just hang onto stuff clogging up my house? It seems sad but it looks as though it will be all going to Ebay and then will be split up, sorted and sifted, and all connection with the copyright owner lost for good.

 

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I suspect because they are petrified that I might be making money.

Probably just didn't know how to handle it, copyright is so complicated even for most of us ( I don't include you in that sweeping statement by the way). And then there's all that stuff about 'meeting' people on the internet, the next thing they know you could be coming round and offering to fix a few tiles on their roof. It is indeed a great shame that these images might not be given a wider audience.

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35 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

The first 3 case studies on this page are of interest in terms of copyright

There's a lot of "gold-plating" in institutional attitudes to personal data and the first one is a good example. The photographs weren't taken for the purpose of identifying individuals so they're not personal data. Simples.

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12 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

So what happens now, I can't just hang onto stuff clogging up my house?

I appreciate completely that you deserve to be rewarded for all the work you have put in, and would need to put in in terms of scanning etc. However I suppose if all else fails there is Beckenham Historical Association.

 

https://beckenham-historical-association.org/

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3 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I appreciate completely that you deserve to be rewarded for all the work you have put in, and would need to put in in terms of scanning etc. However I suppose if all else fails there is Beckenham Historical Association.

 

https://beckenham-historical-association.org/

 

Yes, I had thought of that for the Prep School material. The slides I am interested in are of her holidays and travels.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Probably just didn't know how to handle it, copyright is so complicated even for most of us ( I don't include you in that sweeping statement by the way). And then there's all that stuff about 'meeting' people on the internet, the next thing they know you could be coming round and offering to fix a few tiles on their roof. It is indeed a great shame that these images might not be given a wider audience.

 

 

You are right. It must seem very weird to be approached out of the blue etc

 

On the other hand some families are absolutely thrilled when they see the images of their Dad ( or whoever) on the internet and when I do a blog post about them.

 

https://blog.geographyphotos.com/2020/06/18/roy-haslett-archive/

Edited by geogphotos
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11 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

You are right. It must seem very weird to be approached out of the blue etc

 

On the other hand some families are absolutely thrilled when they see the images of their Dad ( or whoever) on the internet and when I do a blog post about them.

 

https://blog.geographyphotos.com/2020/06/18/roy-haslett-archive/

 

Perhaps (if you haven't already done so) try sending a link like this to the person you contacted on Ancestry so they can see the potential benefit.

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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

 

Perhaps (if you haven't already done so) try sending a link like this to the person you contacted on Ancestry so they can see the potential benefit.

 

Yes, I sent that link and a couple of others. Never mind - you can't win them all 😃

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It also occurs to me that after a certain date families turned away from colour slides and the inevitable slide show to colour negative, particularly when  it became easy to get prints in the high street. I'm only guessing but maybe that was late seventies, though the Kodak Instamatic came out in 1963! I suppose keen photographers like Mr. Haslett continued with slides. I would have thought that potential archive material on colour negative is unviable, though I suppose you can get poor quality 'scans' off the en-prints. 

 

I also tend to think that similar material shot on digital is likely to be chucked, much easier to throw away a hard drive than thousands of glass plates, but then far, far more people are taking pictures these days so some kind of record will of course remain.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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22 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

much easier to throw away a hard drive than thousands of glass plates,

Just found three old 3 1/2" IDE drives, the newest from my last change of PC (2014). My all-in-one takes SATA so unless my last computer but two sparks up I can't even see what's on them. But I suspect that I now have about 6 backups of my oldest digital images.

The largest is 160GB. I could get an SD card that size now. Probably a sledgehammer job.

Anyone remember image tanks? I still have one with a 20GB laptop drive. Half the size of my usual SD. How time flies.

I carried on mostly with slides for personal purposes until the end (2003) but negs are harder to store well- my theory is that at least slides took up enough space to get noticed. On the oldest ones (late 70s, even 80s) I notice some blotchiness which must be due to differential dye fading, but it's usually on a small enough scale to be acceptable.

My last purchase was a stick of Agfachrome CT100 in 1999, about £5 process paid for 135/36. Now it's north of £15 just for the film. I used to take a few hundred a year, now it's (or was) 5,000. I wonder why I don't take slides anymore.

Edited by spacecadet
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10 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Probably a sledgehammer job.

Before you get the sledgehammer out can I recommend something like the Alxum USB to IDE or SATA converter. That nice Mr. Bezos sells them.

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11 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Before you get the sledgehammer out can I recommend something like the Alxum USB to IDE or SATA converter. That nice Mr. Bezos sells them.

Worth a look if the Optiplex is dead. But as with the sledgehammer it won't be anything I don't already have.

I used to mount them as second drives in those days, but there's no room in the all-in-one so I have to split catalogues every few years now. The SATA drive is three times the size, of course, but so are the files, since I switched from jpeg.........

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29 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Now it's north of £15 just for the film

No that was last week, more like £20 now I think, and that's without processing.

 

! Actually 36 exp Provia RDPIII is £28.99 at Jessops (excluding processing)!

 

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