Casefile Clues

01 April 2014

Pictures With Nary A Whit of Provenance

I originally shared this picture on Facebook only including the image. That wasn't a good idea.

I remembered a few posts about photographs I wrote a while back concerning documentation on digital images genealogists make of photographs and how important that documentation is.

I realize that metadata can be stored in the file, so please don't send me lectures about that. Many people simply copy and paste the image. They don't save the actual file that was a part of the webpage. They don't look to see if there was any sort of additional data about the picture that was a part of the actual file. If they don't see it, then it's not there.

I've decided that my posting of photos as I go forward should include something like I've added to this picture. It doesn't change the image at all, but it does provide the viewer some clue as to where the picture came from, it's provenance, and the ability to actually contact me or at least know who originally posted the picture.

I realize that someone could still "cut off the documentation." Users of the image can also do that with the "metadata" if they download the original image. There's no guarantee that the source data will be preserved or used by others. There's no guarantees of how any image is used once it is posted to the internet.

But at least in my publication of the materials, I've included that information and if someone comes across copies of my blog posts with the pictures the source information will be there.

Any thoughts? 

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