Help identifying rare archive photos.

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magma

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Hello guys, first post here at RailUK and I'm straight in with a request!

The Library of Birmingham are opening up their vast photo archives for the first time. Amongst them is a huge collection of train, platform and related photos, many are Midlands-based but others are images from across the country. We are developing automated ways of tagging these photos so that they will eventually be searchable by everyone; however they're imperfect which is where you come in. We're developing a website where experts such as yourselves could go and view these rare photos and when you see something that you recognise, be it the model of train, or the location of the station, you could then tag it for us to help organise the collection.

Could you see yourself spending some time indentifying photos in this way? I will post some sample images from the collection bellow to give you a sense of what you will be looking at and if it is even possible to indentify the images.
Many thanks,
Tom

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/28823038/rc-gbstations-a-1.jpg

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/28823038/rc-gbstations-kens-17.jpg

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/28823038/rc-gbstations-kens-24.jpg
 
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Schnellzug

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Well, I'm guessing that the first one, since it refers to trains to Devils' Bridge, would be Aberystwyth; the second one, obviously Great Western in the broad gauge era, but where it might be you might find an expert who'd know. The third one? Someone that ends in "..ter". The engine looks like an LMS tank engine, so that might narrow it down a bit.
 

Mvann

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The second photo, the one of the broad gauge loco, the line looks like its dual gauge. You might be able to date it from the advert for powells balsam of aniseed.
 
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Welshman

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Yes, I'm sure Schnellzug is correct and the first picture is of Aberystwyth station. Isn't the Wetherspoon's just to the right now of where the photographer was standing? I suggest it was taken after 1968, as that was when the Vale of Rheidol trains were diverted into the old Carmarthen line platforms at Aberystwyth station.

Regarding the second, I have no idea.

Could the third be Kidderminster?
That obviously ends in "ter", but also one of Kidderminster's famous exports is carpets, and there seem to be two small packaged carpets on the platform, awaiting loading.
 

magma

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Hi guys, many thanks for the welcome and the responses!

These pictures are just 3 of hundreds the library has to release. What we're doing is creating a way that you can flick through all of these photos, and just write single words underneath the image if you can identify something in it using the knowledge, so that the image could be searched later, i.e. "Devils' Bridge".
Would this be something you could see yourself killing 15 minutes on every so often to help the library identify the pictures?
 

PaxVobiscum

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... and just write single words underneath the image ... i.e. "Devils' Bridge".
I am sure many here would be happy to look through and make suggestions but "single words" might be a tad restrictive (as we have already seen). :D
How about "brief comments" or "keywords" or similar?

I look forward to seeing the link to the full collection.
 

Welshman

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Hi guys, many thanks for the welcome and the responses!

These pictures are just 3 of hundreds the library has to release. What we're doing is creating a way that you can flick through all of these photos, and just write single words underneath the image if you can identify something in it using the knowledge, so that the image could be searched later, i.e. "Devils' Bridge".
Would this be something you could see yourself killing 15 minutes on every so often to help the library identify the pictures?
I, too, would be delighted to help, but would not want to be restricted to just "single" words.
 

ilkestonian

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I'd respectfully suggest to the OP that the best option would be to invite more detailed comments rather than simply one word tags.

This will enable someone to review the comments made (and there will be wildly differing opinions as to locations, and even loco types etc!) and take a balanced view of which are likely to be correct.

A succession of one word tags will give little context to determine which might be right and which might be wild guesses or just plain wrong.

I'd be happy to help whichever option is selected.

To the OP - another rail site has a long running "Guess the location" thread in their forum. Probably bad form to mention other forums by name, but a google might reveal :D

Posters there might be up for the challenge...
 

magma

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Again guys, thank you so much for your comments.

I think what they want are tags, not descriptions. So picture three (if correct) would be kidderminster, standard 3 tank, etc, etc.
Mvann has got it spot on, to be able to make the collection searchable, we need you to enter tags that will than be attached to the photos.


I'd respectfully suggest to the OP that the best option would be to invite more detailed comments rather than simply one word tags.
However, one of the main reasons for this post is to get feedback from you as what you think would works and what wouldn't. It seems clear from your responses that you would like some additional space for more detailed comments. As I said we need the tags to help the collection become searchable, but I wonder whether an 'other notes' box bellow could help cater to both.

I look forward to seeing the link to the full collection.
I will of course let you know/need your help as soon as the images are live. it's likely to be a week or so.
 

John Webb

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The Railway Travel and Correspondance Society has a regular 'Where is it' page on their website.
http://www.signalbox.org has a good reputation for identifying photos of signal boxes.
There's a lot of knowledge out there waiting to assist - if they know you need help!
 
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