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Over the past two weeks I have been asked to research information for a couple of projects going on in the water department. Not really my job but I love doing it. Mostly it is looking up contract drawings and old photos, such as this one:

This was sent to me by an architect that is going to rebuild this old pumping station and she wanted some background information. The building no longer looks like this – the roof is missing. By the caption on it, this photo belongs to the Maryland Historical Society, but how is it that I have the original photograph?

Below is an example of a photo that is in another collection, copyrighted to them, but I have the original Glass Plate Negative

I found this one in the Hughes Collection at the University of Baltimore. Interesting about this is the original writing is missing, as will be seen later.

Another Hughes Collection

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And then there are the photographs that people have in their private collection/scrapbooks. The writing on these match the handwriting of the photographer who took the photo and marked it. It is different than those in the Hughes collection.

All this is to say that history is history and should be shared. I just get pissed when people try to charge for these photos. I recently talked with someone who mentioned he has Baltimore Sun photos. I also have quite a few, but was curious about their continued sales on both Ebay and various websites. The Sun sold their collection to the Tribune who sold it to another company who apparently sold to a place called Digital Fortress. I went on their site and saw that they had photos of ones that I had, that the Tribune told me, mine were originals and would never be reproduced again?? I wrote them and asked and this new company says they sure enough sell reproductions that I could even buy on canvas all the way up to 20″ x 30″ !!! WTF – I might as well just take mine and go to Walmart!

Who really owns these pics??!!

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