Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jones Photo Historical Collection

The Jones Photo Historical Collection is a treasure trove of historic photographs of the Olympic Peninsula.

"The Jones Photo Historical Collection is a success story that includes four generations of two families spanning three consecutive centuries of life, work, art and commerce in one great area of Washington State . . . They have been very busy people during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries making, collecting, preserving and now sharing on the internet these thousands of wonderful photographs."

What separates this from other historic photo collections on the internet is the artistic quality of many of the photographs. The portfolios section has some wonderful slide shows, the one on the timber industry is especially good.

The other thing that separates this collection is the unfortunate crippling way in which it is represented. All the pictures are displayed within a Flash interface (I think?)--you cannot right click to save them. The only way to grab the photos for a Powerpoint or presentation is to do a screen grab and edit the picture. Not very research friendly.


James Stripes said...

When seeking a simple photo of an apple to juice up a presentation on Washington State agriculture, I right clicked and was informed, "you are not authorized to right click on this photo." The experience keeps me leery of the number of photos in my powerpoint presentations taken by persons not myself. I tried writing to George Nethercutt when he represented me in Congress regarding clarification of educational fair use in the copyright law. His use of terms such as "market" and "free enterprise" no less than eight times in the reply demonstrated that history teachers were not among those he was elected to represent.

Thus, I was planning to comment that disabling the right-click photo capture method might be a strategy to protect the copyright and hence economic potential of the photo collection. However, the "Jones Photo Historical Collection" site offers access to teachers and students in the FAQ:

"Anderson & Middleton welcomes students and teachers to use pictures and information from this website for school projects, with credit to the Jones Photo Historical Collection, Anderson & Middleton Company. Please see the Terms and Conditions page for more information."

Larry Cebula said...

James: Copyright and education is a morass of conflicting guidelines. If you read the actual law for educational fair use it is both vague and broad, leaving and impression that we can do most anything in the classroom. But the copyright industry has a very different view, and produces "helpful" free material for educators saying no no no. Naive and lazy administrators (not that I work for any of those) pass this stuff along as if it were gospel.

My approach is taken from Nike: "Just do it." And also from that old piece of folk wisdom: "It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."