The Great Image Hunt

When discussing the website with the developers a question that quickly came up was one of images.  Since military actions are invariably newsworthy and important for government propaganda, one thing we do have is plenty of photographs.  Even when the existing technology wasn’t that good, images still were created.  Just think how much better most people’s cell phones could have captured the American civil war, even if they’re using a black and white filter.

So we needed some images.  That should be easy enough considering that the Internet is full of them.

Well, not so fast. 

There were couple of requirements, first of which was whether or not we could use the images without acquiring some sort of a license, or whether they were in the public domain. The second priority would be that they would be relevant to Canadian military history, and naturally portray the sort of image we want for the web site. How was it best to accomplish this? The Internet has plenty of search engines and tools to find images.  It quickly became apparent that the more user-friendly the website, the less metadata came along with the files.  On the other hand, the organizations, both government and private, that often have physical control of the images often have less than helpful search engines attached to them.

Accuracy is something very important to us.  We didn’t just want to use information secondhand about a particular image.  So it was important to get as close to those responsible for creating an image as possible.  Luckily, some of the images did have citations linking back to where they were first put online.  Gathering those together, we have included them in the PDF linked at the bottom of each web page.  It consists of the citation, an example of the image, as well as text confirming its copyright status.  If you have any other information about the images, feel free to use the contact form to let us know and we’ll make updates or corrections as necessary.