Titanic Photographic Compendium

Jun 27, 2002
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This has been in my head for a while: what do you all think about the idea of a Titanic photographic compendium? Has there ever been talk of this?

Granted, there would be challenges involved, with some images in private collections, but considering all the books out there devoted to painters (like the complete Van Gogh for example), where you're dealing with high three or even four figures of paintings, in hundreds of museums and collections, it seems to me that assembling images of Titanic into a volume would be a bit less difficult, since the images number only a few hundred.

What do you all think?

BR
 
Mar 3, 2010
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I think it's a good idea. But it sounds a lot like Titanic: The Ship Magnificent Volumes. They are filled with more than enough pictures.
 
Jun 27, 2002
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True, but it intermingles Olympic footage to fill gaps, since it is devoted to the design and construction aspects of Titanic.

My thoughts were more focused in nature, emphasizing all known (an available) images of Titanic, their history, provenance, etc.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>True, but it intermingles Olympic footage to fill gaps, since it is devoted to the design and construction aspects of Titanic.<<

Unfortunately, that's pretty much what's out there. The problem with Titanic is that she was the second sister and recieved the same muted and indifferent attention.

Which doesn't mean that your idea doesn't have merit. I think it does but to give you a fair heads up, you have quite the challange ahead of you to make it happen.
 
Jun 27, 2002
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I look at the limited number of photos as an inducement.

My idea is not trying to assemble a "comprehensive" look at the Olympic class ships (which has already been done, C/O "Titanic: The Ship Magnificent"). Rather, I'm interested in compiling, bringing together as complete a collection as possible of just the existing photographic record of just Titanic. It would be great for beginners who just want to see Titanic, and it would be handy for researchers, who would have a single reference volume for all Titanic images, as opposed to having to consult various texts.

It's why the Eaton and Haas volume is so important...up to now it's about the assemblage of Titanic images and related (passengers, crew, etc) out there.

And if we're talking about just images of the Titanic, yes it would be difficult, but not impossible or unprecedented. As I mentioned prior, there are many books that are compendium's of artist works. I myself have the Complete Van Gogh, which assembles all the known Van Gogh paintings, which number over 800. Those paintings are scattered across dozens of museums and private collections.

With Titanic, the number is far less, two hundred by one estimate I read on this board (correct me if I'm wrong). So if 800 paintings can be gathered into one (large) volume, surely a couple hundred images could be as well.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Brian, what would be sweet would be if somebody...anybody...could find some photos which are in private collections and get permission to present them to the public. Some surface from time to time so we know they're out there.

Who knows, a photo of Titanic's Grand Staircase as opposed to the Olympic's might surface and settle once and for all the question of whether or not that clock was ever installed.

Can't hurt to ask!
 
Jun 27, 2002
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Absolutely Michael! I really do believe that there are images that survive, tucked away in family albums, in households in and around the UK.

What you'd really need is a genealogist. Because if there are photos that remain, they are with the descendents of people who worked to fit out Titanic, or who lived along the ships route and had the opportunity to take snapshots.

That would be a major goal of a compendium: to get some attention out there, and say, "Hey, we're looking for images!"

I make documentary films for a living, and have dealt numerous times with obtaining permission to use photographs, from archives, private collections, you name it. And remarkably, very few have been difficult at all. Most are just thrilled to have something of theirs shared with the world, and are willing to oblige in exchange for a nominal fee and/or a copy of the final film.

Really, it's the institutions who've proven the biggest headache, because they more concerned with making a buck!
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BR
 
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Matt Pereira

Guest
I wouldnt mind seeing photos complied online for those of us that like to have digital copies. I mean some people only have so much room for books. I ran out of room for my books have to make more room but I started saving antique photos on a 4GB flash drive and I have digital copies of photos of Titanic as well as my research on it. Wished it was easier to find good high quality format photos online of Titanic both antique photos and wreck photos.
 

Chris Daley

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Mar 22, 2011
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If you were to do this compendium, i'd assume you would be looking for the most original unaltered copies, however have you thought of having some or even all colorized versions as well? I'd love to have full colorized copies as well as the original B&W/Sepia versions. There are some fantastic examples at www.titanic-in-color.com.
 

DavidRTurner

Member
Mar 16, 2012
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TITANIC IN COLOR is a great site, thanks for the link!
It offers both original B&W photos (many of which I've not seen before!), and a colorized version - most are 'click-to-switch' so you can compare them instantly.