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Museum & Archive photo collection


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I see the Museum photos have 'vanished' completely now (again?).

All you get is a holding page saying they're down for 'review', and they hope to have them back up again in 'early 2023'.

What exactly may be requiring 'reviewing' that needs or justifies the whole site to be taken offline for a minimum of several months, I'm not going to waste my time trying to guess, even though the potential explanations seem very few.....

Dare we hope that when (if?) they come back that the site will be more functional and the images actually large enough to see anything worthwhile on......Probably similar odds to the 'Pilot Us' steaming through the harbour under her own power sporting a fresh coat of paint.......

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Copyright is a thorny issue with those pics.....

As George says, where copyright is known, the copyright holder can transfer it to the Museum. Simple. Problems start to arise when the copyright holder isn't known. To get around this, the story I've been told, is that as the image displayed on their site and any copy anyone may obtain from the Museum is from the Museum's scan of an original negative/copy/print, it is their own scan they claim copyright on rather than the original. How kosher it is for that to be done when the original copyright holder isn't known, is open to debate.....but likely something they can get away with without any real risk of challenge.

Actual example. The collection contains two images we have in a family collection of old photos, which were around long before the Museum, let alone the photo collection was ever dreamed off.

Did a long dead family member take them - Don't know. Do we hold the only original copies - Don't know. How did the Museum obtain the prints/negatives they were scanned from - Don't know.

What is known is that back in the 70's a neighbour borrowed a number of photos from our collection to have copies made for their own collection. Which we were fine with. Then years later that same neighbour allowed the Museum take copies of some photos from their collection.

Were the two photos in question ones we loaned to that neighbour to take copies for their own use - Don't know, the family members who loaned them are long gone. If they were, did that neighbour in turn allow the Museum to take copies of their copies - Don't know, that neighbour died before the Museum published their collection online.

Obviously there's every possibility the Museum could have obtained the negatives/prints they scanned from another source and its all very legit, but it just illustrates how sketchy things can get very quickly.

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