30 July 2014

Retronaut -- the Photographic Time-Machine

Long time readers know that as much as I love maps, I also love photos.

I just learned about another photo site, Retronaut (FREE to join though you will need to register). It is self described by:

Retronaut is a photographic time machine.

It is a digital collection of tens of thousands of pictures from across the past, all with one thing in common - each one has the power to warp your sense of time.

Our team mines archives online and offline, unearthing pictures that seem not to belong to the time when they were created, that dissolve away the years like tarnish on a ring, that take our collective map of the past and tear tiny holes in it - holes through which we glimpse the real past lying underneath our map.

These are pictures that show not so much the past as they show “now” – but another version of now.

In the course of learning more about this site, I came across this article 'Retronauting': why we can't stop sharing old photographs.  The article talks about our interest in old photographs and mentions another site HistoryInPix (link is to Pinterest page).  A Google search on History + Pictures + Collections brought up a massive collection of such.  So, as you research your ancestors, you might check to see if there are any image collections particular to the place and/or time of their lives.

For me, the interest in pictures (and maps) is that as a visual person, I love to “see” what the world was like as seen and experienced by my ancestors.

What is your favorite historic photo collection?

Editor’s Note:  Old photograph collections are not a new topic for Upfront with NGS.  Catch previous posts on the topic:
+ you can also “search” on Upfront with NGS + Photos or Photographs or Images and some “mini bytes” will show up

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