Archive Photograph Competition

Jenny the Elephant with her keeper

Zoological Society of London. Jenny the Elephant (with her keeper and the keeper's daughter) from an album compiled by the photographer Frank Haes, 1864. The London Zoo Film will launch on 1st March

Today Source announces the start of a three-month season dedicated to photo archives. It will include seven new films, extended audio interviews, a dedicated issue of Source, blog posts and the online publication of material from our own archives.

The season has been a year in preparation, has taken us to visit all manner of collections across the country. Artists, archivists, curators, conservators and academics have told us about the different projects they are working on, often out of public view. To capture some of this thrill of discovery we have designed a competition that can connect readers of this blog post and our Facebook page with the archives we will be featuring in the coming months.

Our Competition on Facebook:

To launch the SOURCE Photographic Archives Season, we are asking our readers to submit a favourite photographic image from an online archive to our Facebook Competition page. We will post a collection of images we like every week until the competition closes on 10th May. From the submissions the editors will select four winners from across Ireland and the UK. As a prize each winner will receive a personal tour by the archivists of their national collection: the Ulster Museum, the National Library of Ireland, the National Galleries of Scotland and a special prize from the soon to re-open Photographer's Gallery, London; a visit to a number of different national archives in the capital.

The competition runs from today, Thursday 23rd February until Thursday 10th May 2012. The rules are on our Facebook Page Winners will be announced on Thursday 24th May, 2012.

The idea (as mentioned in our previous blog) is to encourage exploration of the many online photography archives out there. Our only restriction is that your picture must be from an established online archive, rather than your own personal collection.

The archive season will begin in earnest next Thursday with release of our first archive film showing the photographic collection of London Zoo, a specialist collection that includes photographs valuable not only for their own rarity but also because they are the only remaining images of extinct animals.

Roland Bonaparte, Billy, Jenny and Little Toby, Aborigines removed from Queensland, 1885. Royal Anthropological Institute

Subsequent films will be posted every fortnight and will range from stories of individual photographers, like the Jo Spence and the John Blakemore Archives, to specialist collections like that of London Zoo, which contains photographs of extinct animals unavailable anywhere else and local collections like the local newspaper the Newtownards Chronicle. Also featuring will be the Archive of Modern Conflict, the Royal Anthropological Institute and archive conservator Susie Clark.

In between the posting of these films we will be publishing blog posts and audio interviews. For collections on a global scale we will be speaking to the British Library Endangered Archives project, Getty images and Magnum photos.

Let us know if there is anything you think we have overlooked in the archives season, just drop a note on our Facebook Page or send us a Tweet...


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