Image Bank

The Gatineau Valley Historical Image Bank

The Gatineau Valley Historical Society has created a digital image bank of photographs documenting the history of the Gatineau Valley. All the photographs in the existing collection are being scanned (at 300 pixels per inch) and described in a database. New accessions of photographs are scanned and entered into the system as they are received. Items loaned to the Society for copying are processed in this way and the originals then returned to the owner; in these cases the Society holds only an electronic image. The database (using Filemaker Pro software) is becoming increasingly useful as a reference tool, able to locate requested images quickly and easily. (The Historical Society thanks Adrienne Herron of Old Chelsea for her work in designing and implementing the system.)

Appraisal And Identification Of Photographs

The Society is interested in acquiring copies of images of value pertaining to the history of the Gatineau Valley. However, donors and lenders should be aware of some important qualifications.

Unidentified photographs (with no information as to their contents) usually have very little value or interest. In a nutshell, people offering us photographs to copy will be asked to provide as much information about them as possible, responding to five "W" questions: WHO are the people in each photograph? WHERE and WHEN was the picture taken? WHAT are the events that were taking place? WHY was the photo taken?

Obtaining Copies From The Image Bank

Copies of photographic images in the custody of the Historical Society Archives will be provided as high quality digital prints from the Image Bank (not from the original photographs). For a nominal charge, the Archives can also provide draft quality records from the data base that include thumbnail prints and text descriptions of photos.

Price List for pictures from the Image Bank

Pictures from the Image Bank are available in the form of prints or digital images on CD or DVD (state your preference) scanned at the original size at 300 ppi in Tiff format.

Prints on photo quality paper of any size up to 10 inches on the longest side are $10 per image. These images can be ordered by e-mail, Canada Post, telephone or a visit to the GVHS office. See contact information.

Requested images should specify the Picture Number (if known). Following are the costs:

  • via e-mail: $10 for one image; $2 for each additional image. Send requests to images@gvhs.ca.
  • on CD or DVD: $15 for one image; $2 for each additional image. This includes a printed description for each image (see sample). If mailed, the minimum postage is $5.00.

Note that only a printed description of a record is $1.00 per record (see sample).

Copyright Considerations

Before the proclamation of the amendments to the Copyright Act in 1998, intellectual property rights in photographs were protected for fifty years from the date when the photo was taken. Under the terms of the amended act, these rights are held by the creator (usually the person who took the photo) for his/her life plus fifty years. However, these changes were not retroactive. Photos that were in the public domain as of 1 January 1949 remain so. Therefore, any photograph taken prior to 1 January 1949 is free of copyright restrictions.

When acquiring or duplicating images taken after 1948, the Society will make every effort to identify the creators of the photographs and to clear copyright.