The Cloyne and District Historical Society’s Flickr account recently topped a thousand photos, Ken Hook told the Society’s monthly meeting in Cloyne this week.
For the handful of folks unfamiliar with Flickr, it’s an image and video hosting service that’s free to use but uploading content or commenting on a photo requires a registering an account.
The Society has had a presence there since 2013.
“We have 323 followers, from all around the world,” Hook said. “Like Brazil, France, Austria, Guatemala, Switzerland and the U.S.
“Even the State Library from Queensland Australia is a follower — we’re not really sure why.”
The Society began the page as part of their commitment to preserve local history and the material can be downloaded for research or presentations.
“We do say that commercial use is prohibited because the intent was not for someone to make a profit from,” Hook said. “Although it’s unlikely anyone would be able to.”
So far, the site has had 2.1 million views and some of them had led to some interesting comments and connections.
For example, one of the most popular photos, with 35,357 views, is of a group of Girl Guides in the back of a Fargo truck in front of Wannamaker’s Store taken 1950.
“The Girl Guides International linked to it from their website and one guy commented that it had to be Canadian because that’s the only place you could get Fargo trucks,” Hook said. “I didn’t know that.”
Another interesting connection came from a photo in the ‘Carol Lessard collection’ of Quintland, the collection of souvenir shops and attractions that sprung up around Callander Bay in the late ’30s and early ’40s as a result of the popularity of the Dionne Quintuplets.
The curator of the Callander Bay Heritage Museum sent an email to the Society saying that this was the only photograph evidence they’ve ever seen of a teepee in front of the clock tower. Apparently, a first nations chief would pose for photographs for tourists but they weren’t sure of the authenticity of the story until seeing the photo on Flickr.
Hook was pleased to point out that at 1,081 photos, the Society has a larger presence than the Halifax Municipal Archives, which has 989.
“The Deseronto Archives, from whom we got the idea, has 2,024 but they joined in 2008,” he said.
But that may change as the Society acquires more images.
Perhaps they may catch the Smithsonian Institution (3,486 images) or even the British Museum (1,700,014).