Port of Melbourne pictures just the tip of the photographic iceberg

Photo credit for home page, 23 September.

The port of Melbourne has been leased for a lot of money. This provoked the Melbourne Age to run a set of photographs of the port, dating back well into the 19th century. The pictures range from actor Ava Gardner on the set of the movie On the Beach in 1959 to departures with streamers and from old maps to the Patrick Partners dispute of 1988.

Also on the Honest History website there are links to photographic collections of the slums of Melbourne, the sights of Perth (in the 1950s), some Sydney pictures by Max Dupain, the finalists in the Australian Life competition for 2015, Mike Bowers’ battlefield photographs of France and Gallipoli, images of the Vietnam War from the ‘winning’ side, photographs of British soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, Warren Kirk’s images of the Western suburbs of Melbourne, a link to a massive downloading facility run by the New York Public Library, a link to something similar from the State Library of Victoria, and a small package we put together of links which includes some not covered already above.

Speaking of photographs, we have become connoisseurs of what are good sources and what not so good. The Australian War Memorial has an amazing and easily accessible and searchable photographic collection in its narrow military history field yet it is surprising how often the same photographs crop up in books and other sources. (Faked picture of Gallipoli Turk disguised as a tree, anyone?) The National Archives collection is fairly easy to access but has lots of gaps and lots of repetition (like dozens of almost identical pictures of suburbs or sheds, presumably taken by some department a long time ago).

The National Library and National Museum collections we find a bit bureaucratic and their copyright arrangements hard to follow when you are in a hurry. (Why expect people to fill out a Permission to Use chitty then not get back to them or get back to them and tell them there are no copyright restrictions?) Beyond that, there is Wikimedia Commons, usually without restriction but sometimes weak on Australian material, and Flickr Commons, which suffers excessively from the ‘All Rights Reserved’ disease. (What drives a photographer to upload their pictures then make them virtually impossible to use?) Click!

19 September 2016

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