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HISTORY 221: History and Genealogy in the US (Spring 2021) : Photographs

Sources

About Photographs

"The camera never lies"

When it comes to using photographs to tell history, this statement must be critically evaluated. A picture can be worth a thousand words - but be sure to ask questions about who took the photograph and for what purpose.

Copyright Considerations

Before beginning your research, you must be aware of the copyright laws that regulate the use of most images produced after 1923. If protected by copyright, you should contact the owner to receive permission to use an image.

However, education uses are generally covered under "fair use" guidelines for copyrighted material. See this webpage for further explanation of fair use: https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/copyrightinfo/fairuse.html Also, using the Fair Use Evaluator can be helpful: https://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/howitworks.php  

Searching for Wisconsin Images

There are several digital collections of images that may be useful for you. Suggestions are linked in the "Sources" box on the left. 

When searches for photos, helpful search terms include:

  • Individual's Name (and common misspellings of the name)
  • Home address
  • Landmark or building name
  • Neighborhood
  • Event

Visual Materials - Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society has a vast collection  of historic photographs available online. Most photographs in this collection may be used freely and can be saved directly from the website. The link labeled "Visual Materials" in the "Sources" box will take you directly to a page where you can enter your terms into a search box.