Most of us know Unsplash as a home of free stock photos (and an endless source of discussion about whether or not we should share our images for free). But today, there’s a good news story coming from the company. Thanks to its latest partnership, Unsplash is now offering a selection of historical photos free for everyone to download and use.
Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, the Library of Congress Packard Campus was originally built as a nuclear bunker. It stored $4 billion in gold, and would’ve been the location to which the President would have been taken had the need arisen during the Cold War. Now that this potential need no longer exists, it is home to 6.3 million pieces of the Library of Congress’ movie, TV and sound collection.
It has miles of shelves, 35 climate controlled vaults for sound recordings, safety film and video tape and 124 individual vaults for flammable nitrate film. It’s also a complete lab for the preservation and restoration of cinema’s finest moments. In this video, we get to take a look inside the Packard Campus, and see some of the archives and restoration rooms.
Getty can be pretty quick to send out infringement letters, as well they should. In the case of a real infringement, they absolutely must be protecting the rights of their contributors. But what happens when Getty screws up and sends an infringement notice to the creator of the photograph?
What then happens if Getty also try to sell almost 19,000 of the same photographer’s images without permission? Well, that’s what happened to photographer Carol M. Highsmith and she’s suing Getty for the maximum available under the law.
The unique addition was acquired from an 87-year-old Texas collector, Robin Stanford, who has been gathering civil war-era photos since the 1970s.
“They’re just tremendously significant,” said Bob Zeller, president of the Center for Civil War Photography, adding that “these are not post-war . . . or after Union occupation. These are actual scenes of slavery in America”.
The photos include Lincoln’s Springfield home covered in mourning cloth after his assassination, the first generation of African Americans born into freedom and a Confederate flag flying from a flagpole in Fort Sumter.
There are also images of life before the war, with one of the more noteworthy photos depicting South Carolina slaves worshiping in a plantation church. This may be the only prewar photo of its kind, according to the Washington Post.
Rewind back to the 1970’s and Chilean born photographer, Camilo José Vergara, had just begun what would become one of the most extensive and important photography projects taken on by a single photographer. Armed with a 35mm camera and some Kodachrome 64, Vergara hit the inner city streets of 16 different cities across the United States and began documenting the evolution of the ghetto one photo at a time.
Over the course of the next 40+ years, Vergara would continue on his journey, revisiting many of the same locations he’d already documented year after year to photograph them again, in similar, if not exact, fashion. Vergara now has 10’s of thousands of photographs that, together, provide a visual history of decay and rebirth in America.[Read More…]