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  Newsletter for Collectors - Vol 8.1March 30, 2014 

Home • What‘s New • Photographers • Online Exhibitions 
Contents • Alphabetical • Styles and movements • Articles 
Visual Indexes • Galleries & Dealers • Timelines • Techniques 
Library • Contact us


Welcome to another Luminous-Lint Newsletter. 
Japanese Art Photography preserved on Postcards
Japanese Art Photography preserved on Postcards
Louis-Emile Durandelle and the Paris Opera (1860-1874)
Louis-Emile Durandelle and the Paris Opera (1860-1874)
Photograph albums from North American Private Collections
Photograph albums from North American Private Collections
19th Century Non-paper-based objects incorporating photographs
19th Century Non-paper-based objects incorporating photographs
Thomas Annan: The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow (1900)
Thomas Annan: The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow (1900)

A question of scale and that ever-finer grain

In the December 2013 newsletter I explained what is happening on Luminous-Lint. If you haven’t visited Luminous-Lint recently it is time to take another look and I think you will find that the quality of the themed content has improved radically over the last eighteen months.
On the surface all appears quiet but with legs thrashing beneath. Images and texts arrive in every day and the project now has a base of 53,848 images from 2,462 institutions, estates, private collectors and photographers. These are organized in myriad ways in order to seek out connections some of which are known in the literature but fresh discoveries are made all the time. The concentration of effort at the moment is on the Visual Indexes and establishing a framework for each of the 1,117 Themes on photography that Luminous-Lint covers.
I wrote in the last newsletter that the Themes would initially appear to be somewhat naive but for many of them this is no longer the case. Hundreds of changes take place every day to push the project forward and thanks to everyone who has helped. 
Cityscapes - Urban

Time to take another look at Luminous-Lint?

Oh yes! Quotations and source texts are being added in. Expanding footnotes allow you to go ever more deeply into each Theme. The reading lists are becoming more comprehensive on individual photographers, techniques, and Themes. New research is being integrated constantly with the sources clearly visible. Large numbers of relatives of photographers are providing material from family archives that is available nowhere else. 

How do Themes improve?

Each Theme progresses through an iterative cycle of four phases:
Collect – Here the Online Exhibitions and Visual Indexes for each Theme are added as a starting point. A number of Fragments are created that contain images, videos and starting texts. A Further Research section is created to list the supporting publications and relevant websites.
Document – Each section within a Theme is reviewed for supporting quotations and original sources. Footnotes are added for each piece of text: for example, take a look at the footnotes for the Documentary theme (be patient). At any stage the texts can be improved in the light of fresh research and new images added to illustrate the points made.
Analyse – Using the textual material patterns need to be teased out, introductions added and conclusions proposed. Linking texts will need to be added between fragments to ensure a flow between the texts and examples.
Improve – By the end of the “Analyse” phase the text should be pretty solid but nothing is ever fixed and so the improvement phase is continuous in the light of new research.
At the moment Themes are in the “Collect” and “Document” phases and these will provide many photographs to you, with intriguing connections and an ever-increasing range of supporting material. In fact many Themes are now book length studies - far from perfect but under continual enhancement. 

The next set of tools for those inclined to go deeper

This year I’ll be adding a number of tools for researchers, curators and photographers who wish to understand their passions. Monthly calendars to assist in planning evants and blog entries have recently been added for curators. Upcoming tools will include:
  1. Research timelines – to see how a theme has been studied over time.
  2. Geo-locational information – to assist in mapping.
  3. Video integration – to include video footage from multiple sources.
  4. Exhibition planning – to assist in planning for institutional exhibitions. It will provide the examples, contact lists (with privacy protection), accompanying materials and reading lists. This will be a timesaver for photo curators and encourage photographers to better understand their own work in a global and historical context. No private information on collectors will be provided but I will put institutions in touch where appropriate.
If you like to think a bit ahead we will be able to generate free PDF books on one or more themes at the touch of a button - complete with example images, checklists, texts, readings, footnotes, and indexes. Perfectly possible but not this year perhaps! 

Funding Luminous-Lint

I’ve funded Luminous-Lint entirely by myself over the last ten years and it is now time I looked into how it will be supported in the future. Don’t stop reading at this point as it may affect how you and your institution will be able to use Luminous-Lint in the future. There are a number of options for this:
  • Advertising
    As Luminous-Lint has over 10 million page views a year this would appear the most obvious way forward. Advertising clutters the page and blurs the boundaries between a commercial and a community supported project. I said I would never do this and many of you have supplied materials on that basis so advertising is ruled out.
  • Selling products and services
    The aim of Luminous-Lint has always been to organize materials from vast numbers of institutions and private collections to establish and analyse those connections. On Luminous-lint there are over 40,000 internal links just for British calotypists which gives you a sense of the scale. The project has been and continues to be about pushing forward scholarship a step at a time. It is a long term project and inappropriate to the marketing of cameras and books. The Amazon links are included as a convenience to the community and provide minimal income. Selling products and services is not in my opinion the way forward.
  • Grants
    There are grants one could apply for and coming from university teaching and research I’ve been involved with those over the years. As I’m not affiliated with an institution this rules out most grants and they are generally a short term fix rather than a long term solution for a project of this scale. Last year I proposed a Kickstarter project and thanks to all those who offered support. Unfortunately the project did not achieve the required goal and I need continuity of funding.
    I applied for a Getty Research Scholarship Grant in 2013 for “The enhancement of digital publishing prototypes on the history of photography to determine the benefits of collaborative data collection, validation and sharing within the Getty and externally.” The proposal was not successful and you can read the Proposal and the Supporting document to get a sense of what I‘m planning.
    The intention of this project is to provide high quality Open Content for the benefit of all.
  • Sponsorship
    For almost six years Luminous-Lint was effectively supported by work I did on another photography project. This was, and continues to be, a fascinating project and I wish it well. Luminous-Lint requires financial support on its own to ensure continuation. If there is an organisation or individual interested in supporting photo-history then I would be interested and future plans will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Subscriptions
    Many thousands of people and organisations have provided content and the entire project is enriched daily by the extraordinary material that arrives. As Luminous-Lint is for a community of like-minded enthusiasts instituting a subscription may be the solution. Images and user-supplied content such as online exhibitions would remain free to all whilst the more detailed visual indexes, reading lists, texts with footnotes and a host of other parts would require a subscription.
    The subscription fee would be low enough that any student could afford it and pay for only the months when they are doing their studies. Those with a passion for the subject could pay a low monthly fee while institutions where there are photography cataloguers and curators would pay more. The intention of this is to support the project long term and I’m sure you appreciate the importance of that. There is no comparable resource in the arts on this scale and with the interconnectivity that is available on Luminous-Lint.
  • I will be making a decision over the coming months on the most appropriate way to proceed.
    All the best,

    Today in the past...

    Jim Alinder (1941, 31 March - ) was born - US, CA, Glendale. American photographer of everyday life. He was also involved in the organization ‘Friends of Photography‘. 
    Jim Bengston (1942, 31 March - ) was born - US, IL, Evanston. America photographer who takes the landscapes of Norway. 
    Arthur T. Henrici (1889, 31 March - 1943, 23 April) was born - US, PA.  
    Don Jim (1922, 31 March - 2006, December) was born - US, HI, Maui. American commercial and fine art photographer much influenced by Minor White. 
    Gisèle Freund (1912, 19 December - 2000, 31 March) died - France, Paris. German and French photographer and writer noted for her portraits. 
    Paul Strand (1890, 16 October - 1976, 31 March) died. American photographer who started out as a pictorialist but who evolved into a modernist as his social concerns developed. He produced books based upon his extended visits to Italy, Egypt, Ghana and the Outer Hebrides.
    His films More...
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