New online photo archive for the West Midlands

3, 000 images from the Express & Star photo archive are now freely available online. This a great resource for those interested in daily life in the West Midlands during the 20th century. The initial digitisation concentrates on images of industry and covers the 1970s to 1990s.

The resource is the outcome of an Heritage Lottery Fund project run jointly by
Midland News Association Ltd, Wolverhampton City Archives, and the University of Wolverhampton. Based in Wolverhampton, the Express & Star newspaper has been covering the region since the 1880s. The paper’s photographic collection has c.
1 million images making it a major source for social history in the West Midlands.

Advice needed: scanning for local history titles

This came through on the archives jiscmail list. What do people think?

I’ve been approached by an author who is producing a picture book for a local history firm.

Generally I’m happy to scan images for  locally produced history books within reason. In the past we would have negotiated a contract with such a publisher ourselves but we no longer have the resources. For local authors, in lieu of a reproduction charge, I request a free copy of the title for each image used or perhaps a discount in purchasing copies for the library or resale.

This time the author is looking for us to provide up to 120 scans. This is unreasonable in my view. I’m aware that the publishers won’t provide any funding for reproduction charges and this leaves authors in a difficult position. He has negotiated I believe for 10 free copies of the title – too little in my opinion. He has offered to scan them himself but we don’t allow that.

I’d like to find a compromise– this is a lot of work for us, few staff as usual and with a big digitisation project of our own.

Any suggestions?