Images and Words: An Online History of Photography

Introduction | Contents | Foreword | Testing

January 1, 2011 - Welcome to an early release of Images and Words...
This is the first announcement of Images and Words a collaborative online history of photography
This is a test version and we won't get everything right. There may software problems and there will be errors and ommissions in the content that we'll sort out as we improve.
Thank you for your participation in this collaborative project as your knowledge and enthusiasm will make it better for everybody.
The Idea
The Internet encourages free-flowing navigation but that has the downside of a loss of structure. The printed book understands structure very well and has had hundreds of years to refine it. Electronic books keep the structure of the book combined with portability and ease of access but these really miss the point. What if we took the best features of both and combined them?
Images and Words does this by taking a history of photography Seizing the Light (2nd edition) written by Robert Hirsch and linking into it all the resources existing in Luminous-Lint. So we have the structure of a traditional blended with rapidly evolving content being collected specifically to support the text. This has many advantages that will become clearer as the Images and Words project evolves. We are not limited to text and images - video interviews with photo-curators and photographers, audio clips explaining a photograph, links to original source materials and much more will become available. We welcome institutions and people with content and expertise to share for the benefit of all.
Images and Words will provide improved access to information and better ways of exploring it. We aim to provide information to the highest authoritative standards so if you see something wrong let us know.
If you are enthusiastic about the possibilities - you are our kind of person and welcome.
Getting started
Navigation is straightforward with a book structure of chapters and sections. The chapters being tested are clickable and the others are not but will become available as testing continues. Points about reading the book:
  • It can be read from the start to the finish
  • A standard area on the right allows access to chapters and sections of the current book.
  • Footnotes to additional materials are given at the end of the screen. These provide full academic references.
  • The names of individuals may be clickable taking you into additional materials on Luminous-Lint.
  • At the end of each paragraph there is a clickable number for example [4|1|863] - if you click on this it explodes the paragraph showing additional indexes, images but more on this later.
  • To the left of each paragraph there may be requests for additional information or image examples. If you have anything that might help great - if you don't no problem as we'll fill in as we proceeed.
  • To the left of the text there may also be links to online exhibitions that provide additional examples to highlight concepts. These work the same way as the existing exhibitions on Luminous-Lint.
  • Where multiple images are shown you can click on the Checklist below to get full captions and sources.
Components that will be added:
  • Images and Words has been designed to take advantage of all the existing parts of Luminous-Lint. This means that tens of thousands of full sourced and credited images are available along with almost five hundred online exhibitions.
  • What is more important is the linking into primary sources which means that any paragraph or footnote can bring up the sources on screen along with their publication context. More on this as the project evolves.
Where you can help
  • Let us know what you like
  • Let us know what you don't like
  • Ideas for content and supporting online exhibitions
and finally...
We'll need to sort out issues with publishers, content providers and others as we proceed but we'll keep you informed about what is happening.
Finally we hope that you enjoy Images and Words and thanks again for joining in,
Robert J. Hirsch / Alan Griffiths
Starting points...
Robert Hirsch Exploring Color Photography, Fifth edition (Focal Press, 2011)
Robert Hirsch Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography, Second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2009)

Robert J. Hirsch
Light Research
146 Newfield Street
Buffalo, NY 14207-1650
Alan Griffiths
Box 33055 Quinpool RPO
Halifax NS B3L 4T6

Images on this webpage may or may not be included in the published work.
Copyright on Luminous-lint
Please report factual errors as soon as possible to along with the numbers that end each paragraph.
We would like to say a grateful thanks to all the private collectors, dealers, gallerists, photo-curators and photo-historians who have made this website possible by providing images and information.
This website is dedicated to those that share for the benefit of all - Thank you.