Print Collection
November 14, 2010 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Print Collection
I have a love for photography, history, architecture and design. There is so much wonderful public domain work available, I choose to curate a bit.

Great WPA Travel Posters, Odd Photography from the National Photo Company, Architecture, Notgeld (German for "emergency money" after WWI), WPA Health & Safety, Patent Drawings. Check back, new prints posted every day.
posted by doug3505 (7 comments total)

Curate meaning sell?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:47 AM on November 15, 2010

Curate as in edit, select, or choose. But yes it is a e commerce site.
posted by doug3505 at 4:53 AM on November 15, 2010

Ok. I just felt that you weren't being entirely above-board about the nature of the site. Nice pictures though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:10 AM on November 15, 2010

Yes, talking about "wonderful public domain work" which you have "curated" comes across as bait-and-switch tactics, given you are trying to sell stuff.
posted by philipy at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2010

Just presented the site here in a brief sentence. Not tring to hide that prints are for sale. The idea of the site iis to get some discussion and discourse about the content. Prints are for sale but the content oviously free. I guess I just don't understand the "bait-and-switch" idea. Would the site be stronger without the ability to purchase anything?

The short boiler plate "About Us" follows but I thought it was too dry for this venue. "Print Collection publishes new historic prints and photographs for your inspiration each day. We deliver you museum quality prints for your home or office. Quality reproductions and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee is our top priority."

Thanks for your thoughts.
posted by doug3505 at 3:24 PM on November 15, 2010

Yeah, I went looking at it too, thinking that it was just public domain images that were curated.

The thing is, it's rather delicate to pull off selling other people's work like this, even if it is public domain. While you've done a pretty great job in designing the website, it feels more like you've just repackaged other stuff (like a lot of things I recognize from LoC holdings) without providing sources, etc. That there's not really all that much information about these images, or why you "curated" them into collections, means that it reads as fairly callow, and that's why you're getting some pushback here.

And just to be clear, I don't have any real moral problem with what you're doing. But I think that it'd be better to be more upfront about what you're providing, which is a convenient way to have prints made (are you making them, or are you having a third party do it? It's not clear, and likewise, the print quality isn't clear) of public domain images. Having dealt with the LoC over a couple of things that I needed for school, I know that you can get all of those WPA images, most of them printed from negative, for a fairly modest fee, but it's kind of a hassle.

As another note, any time anyone puts a watermark on something like this online, I kinda roll my eyes. If these are public domain, anyone who wants to use them can find them in other places without the watermark, and anyone who wants real prints made will know that a 72 dpi jpg isn't going to do them any good.

So, by lacking any real content aside from public domain images that you're offering for print, it really does feel like someone who had gone there hoping for curated public domain images is going to feel annoyed because instead they've stumbled onto a republisher who just wants money and doesn't provide anything else to do at the site.
posted by klangklangston at 5:13 PM on November 18, 2010

Well let me address your points and thanks for taking the time to discuss.

I am printing and processing all the work on Canon 5100 and 8100 printers in house.

All the work is printed on archival paper and inks as clearly stated on the site. Yes the idea was to put a collection of LOC images together in a place where you could look through the "cream" rather than all the chaff that one has to deal with at LOC.

As well there are many images that I have worked up myself that are hard or not found anywhere else. Certainly for sale that is, many are in the Notgeld and Safety Match field.

Looking at the WPA Travel posters, most of these have been painstakingly reconstructed to give high resolution versions. Some that again, are not found anywhere else.

Part of the influence to create this site was to present a cleaner version of I always loved the content of that site but wanted to see the work in a more "Museum" quality setting.

And then there is the watermark. Well it is just there to get a little PR if the image is shared or reposted, that is all. Not like I am trying chase down people for usage rights.

So I come to this with a love for the imagery and a want to share a curated version of LOC and other wonderful images and hopefully create some chat. Sales are always good.
posted by doug3505 at 10:01 PM on November 27, 2010

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