Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Plenty for everyone

King and Queen, then and now

I have always been drawn to old photos - of inscrutable unsmiling relatives or strangers propped up for a long uncomfortable exposure in a photographer's studio. Who were they, what did they think and feel? They make you wonder if they ever smiled. Then there are the wonderful captures of old neighbourhoods and buildings which invite us in, to explore the life and times they reveal.

I am perennially thankful for those groups and individuals who put old photos online for everyone's enjoyment. An archivist friend calls it 'scarcity reduction', bringing images out of the archives, and into everyone's hands. Virtually. I occasionally use these photos in the blog, always wondering if I might be breaking some rule; I used to ask but never got a reply. Again our archivist reminds me that they are public domain. I suppose if I were planning to sell the images, or make my fortune by using them. But no. I want to enjoy them, and share them with you. It gives life to a blogpost to include the 'before' picture. Makes us happy when things are preserved, thoughtful when places are so drastically changed, regretful when something unique and beautiful is lost to fire or demolition.

Some of my favourite sites are the vintage Facebook pages from several cities. I frequently visit  Lost Ottawa,  Vintage Belleville, Trenton and QuinteVintage Kingston  and Vintage Toronto . Each FB has a photo link, from there you can proceed to 'albums' which, although the sites aren't searchable, improve one's chances of finding just the right photo. And if not, WHAT a great way to spend an hour.

PS Thanks to frequent visitor Mark for picking up an error in this post. Anyone else catch it?

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