Keedup CEO, Kevin Townsend, says the offer is a way for his company to give back to the picture industry, whilst also getting out the message that searchability is vital for any collection of images or video. “An archive without proper keywords is more of a liability than an asset, as the time it takes to find an image means it is often not worth starting the search. “Within every archive there are hidden gems, and it is often only through the process of looking at images and adding keywords that those gems can be found and brought to the attention of researchers and image buyers.” He said that adding keywords and other metadata also went a long way towards resolving the problem of copyright in the case of historical archives where rights were poorly documented or images were so old that copyright laws no longer applied.
Whilst ownership of the images could be doubtful, copyright over the metadata which made the archive function could be proven and documented. “Metadata added to an archive therefore has the power to bind together the imagery, turning the archive itself into an asset. Keywording may not just make an archive more attractive to buyers, it may well be necessary to turn it into something that can be bought at all.”
He said commercialisation was not always the aim for an archive, but it was arguable that without archives earning revenue they would find it hard to get the money to make their contents available to the public through curation efforts, digitising and presenting them to the public via web sites. “Commercial use in itself opens all sorts of avenues for images to be seen, whether that’s on calendars, greeting cards, in magazines or wherever.” Kevin said the pricing for each archive project would be worked out on a case by case basis, as close to cost as possible, with the work being done during down time. To qualify for the low rate, the archive would have to be referred and recommended by the Press Photo History Project. “We can’t promise to meet strict deadlines, or do everyone’s images at once, but we figure that these archives have waited many years for proper metadata, so at whatever speed the keywords are added it is a lot better than leaving important images without the metadata they need.” To find out more about how to make the most of archives and keywording, visit:
- ↑ Header image © Topfoto.co.uk
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This project is currently mapping the photo agencies and photographers of Fleet Street, with a long term plan to map all press photo agencies throughout the world.Image requests: While research is ongoing the PPHP provides a daily service connect image license requests (of 'orphaned images') with image owners through our network of contacts at newspaper archives and commercial photo libraries.
Why is it important?: At the turn of the 20th century, there was vast growth in press agencies and photographers due to the massive thirst for images in newspapers. Many are still in existence but others have been sold, absorbed or simply disappeared, effectively leaving gaps in the history of this industry..
The Press Photo History Project is building a 'family tree' of the industry, which is helping to find the original owners of content. Eventually this would also provide an educational resource centred on the history of press photography. Starting with the Mapping of Fleet Street, this aims to include an index to photo agencies working in and around the 'street' and photographers memories of working lives.
Useful ResourcesThe Press Photo History Project is a PhotoArchiveNews.com site