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Remembered Today:

First World War Photos Workshop at IWM


awakefield
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Dear Forum Members

This is to let you know that, as part of preparations to mark the Centenary of the First World War, the IWM is undertaking a project to digitise the 115,000 photographs that make up the Museum's Q Series. This set of images includes British and foreign official photographs and many taken by serving soldiers between 1914-1918. The images cover all fighting fronts, war at sea and in the air, the British home front and illustrations relating to the causes and consequences of the War. For many of these photographs the Museum is reliant on censored wartime captions and for others we hold very little, if any, caption information. Although curatorial staff in the Photographs Section have undertaken research into numerous photographs, other demands on staff time means it is impossible for the team to complete this work. Therefore, the Museum would like to test the feasibility of engaging our audience in assisting with the task through Crowdsourcing, where members of the public comment on our photographs. In this IWM will work in partnership with Historypin.

As a preliminary step we are looking to trial Crowdsourcing to guage its effectiveness for the task. To achieve this we are looking to run a workshop at the IWM on Sunday 21 October 2012. For this we are hoping to put together a group of 30 people and feel that the GWF is an ideal place to put out the call for volunteers. The aim is to gather together a varied group ranging from those with an expert knowledge of one or more aspect of the First World War to those who may have just started tracing family history links to the conflict. Through this we hope, in a small way, to test how crowdsourcing of our Q Series photographs would work in any future online public programme.

An outline of the workshop is given below.

I hope members of the forum will find this an interesting development. Those interested in getting involved please contact me via the Photographs Section enquiries email address: photoadmin@iwm.org.uk

Thanks for taking time to read this post.

ALAN WAKEFIELD

Section Head - Photographs

Imperial War Museum

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Workshop (21 October 2012): Photos of the First World War -- opening our archives through crowsourcing

Aims of workshop:

- Trial First World War photo crowsourcing activity for future major public engagement programme (online and offline)

Agenda:

Introduction [15 mins] :

- Why are we doing this project and why now

- Introduction to the Historypin platform and run through an example image (www.historypin.com )

Hands on session, facilitated by Historypin [120 mins]

- Working in groups to tag, annotate and locate a selection of IWM's 'Q-series; images. We will learn what can and can’t be discovered about these images by working in groups. The images are drawn from across the Q Series covering a wide range of subjects.

Feedback from groups [30 mins]

- Each group will describe what worked well and not so well. We will gather as many risks, issues and open questions as we can – to be mitigated, tracked and resolved.

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Nudge

Perhaps forumers have contacted IWM direct?

Wish I could help but unfortunately I'm 400 miles away.

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  • Admin

Agenda:

Introduction [15 mins] :

- Why are we doing this project and why now

- Introduction to the Historypin platform and run through an example image (www.historypin.com )

Alan

The link to historypin doesn't work. It tires to log me in tothe IWM mail server.

Glen

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Hi Glen

Not sure why the Historypin link sends you to the IWM email login, will ask someone in our 'New Media' team about that.

At the moment the Q Series images are not on Historypin - the pilot project will run first before the decision is made whether to go forward with crowdsourcing or not. I do know that some IWM Second World War photos and artworks have been added to the Historypin site linking to locations in London etc.

ALAN WAKEFIELD

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Hello again Folks

Thanks for checking out the notice regarding the workshop. We are still looking for volunteers and I finally have the info that some may have been waiting for - time of workshop. This will run between 11am and 2pm and should be taking place in the IWM's Conference Room. A light lunch will be provided. "Wow, a free lunch from the IMW" I hear you cry. I'll wait for the volunteering floodgates to open!!!

ALAN

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My husband and I just tried to volunteer, Mr Wakefield, explaining our limitiations, and using the e-mail contact you provided. But we have an automated reply saying

Unfortunately, due to staff shortages, we are currently unable to accept any historical enquiries. Please see the options available below:

1. 1. For all queries regarding ordering and licensing IWM images, please contact our Image Sales and Licensing Team on: + 44(0) 20 7416 5309 / 5336 or imagesales@iwm.org.uk

2. 2. If you wish to book an appointment to visit us, please telephone + 44 (0) 20 7416 5333. We are open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am – 5pm

Not sure what is happening but could this be why you haven't had many replies?

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Thanks for the email regarding the auto reply. All emails sent in go to our Collections Assistant who passes those relating to the workshop on to me. So, anyone emailing the photoadmin address will get their email viewed and answered. The reason for the auto reply is that with only 5 curatorial staff, including myself, my Section unfortunately does not have time to devote to lengthy public enquiries. We are heavily engaged in a Collections Review and Inventory where we have to check and update catalogue records for 1000s of Photographic collections. We are also involved in various Centenary projects, decanting storerooms and offices as accommodation changes in the IWM's All Saints Annex, selecting new material for digitisation and keeping on top of new acquisitions. Generally, on the public enquiries side of things, we are only able to undertake quick, basic research relating to subject contents of the collection - then it's usually a case of a visit to the archive if material is not online. I'll be answering your email tomorrow (Friday).

ALAN

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Thank you for the explanation that the mail will be read by a person. It is useful to have that information on the Forum. No blame intended, as we have used the archive ourselves and appreciate the material you hold.

It seems that there was originally some attempt to limit the vast quantity of material. I know that my grand father's papers and photos which form the basis of our site for his Brigade were offered to the IWM by his widow when she remarried, and were declined as being of no particular interest.

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I would love to be there but unfortunately will be in Switzerland that day.

Regards

TonyE

Same here Tony, I will be in the Antarctic on the day, man-hauling a sledge!

Cheers

Norman :w00t:

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Hello Folks

Still some spaces on the Photos Workshop. This is your chance to get actively involved with helping IWM add historical context to part of its collection and to have a say in how the Museum may present its images online.

ALAN

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Do e-mail the Museum as suggested and get an answer. It is half term isnt it? Which may account for the shortage of volunteers. Many of the people on this Forum are retired - as we are - I'd personally like some young people included but I cant speak for the Museum..

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I've emailed them about age/knowledge/places etc, really hope I can do it, it sounds great!

And it's not actually half term, but the week before. Which is lucky because I'd be in Greece otherwise.

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Sorry I mentioned half term. It's that our grand children's half terms spread over three weeks this year - And I thought that might be making it hard to find people who were free. We'll be in Italy with a half terming child the previous week - getting back just in time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Final few days before the Photographs Workshop at IWM and a few places are left. If anyone is intersted in getting involved please email the address given in the fisrst post of this thread.

ALAN

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  • 2 weeks later...

On behalf of the IWM I'd just like to say a big thank you to all those Forum members who took part in the recent workshop. I hope you found it an interesting day and your comments will certainly help inform the museum and Historypin in how we frame the proposed online Crowdsourcing project. I am now waiting for Luke Smith, who coordinated the workshop, to circulate his thoughts and comments to myself and other IWM staff who were in attendance. Those who took part in the workshop will be kept informed of developments via email. I will post news here for the wider Forum.

ALAN

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Alan,

unfortunately I read you request just today. But I try my chance ...

I am a member of the Arbeitskreis Krieg zur See 1914-1918 e.V., a German association which deals with the naval history of the Great War. This is our homepage: www.seekrieg14-18.de I am speaking on behalf of the Arbeitskreis.

We would like to offer our assistance and would be very pleased if we could be of some help for you with the identification/gathering of information for your photos (mainly the war at sea, but we would try also any other photos with connection to Germany).

If you are interested, please contact me by mail: klein@seekrieg14-18.de

Kind regards,

Karsten

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I don't want to detract from anything above, but having today attended a meeting where some really interesting ideas were floated - which are at present not open for discussion, I have one very serious comment and proposal.

The most important single thing that the GWF and its members can do, is to continue to welcome, and help new members with their queries. For every specialist, and every expert, there are tens, of joiners, with specific mostly family queries that are sometimes frustrating. Helping those new members find out what happened to their forbears, helps them with both understanding and commemoration.

There is no other site ion the internet, in the English language, that provides so much assistance to the person who just wants to know.

Whatever else we do, I believe that just carrying on, will be our biggest contribution to the centenary.

Keith

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