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Submissions/Illustrating History: Image restoration for Wikipedia

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Illustrating History: Image restoration for Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Adam Cuerden
E-mail address
Adam Cuerden
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
How should we illustrate Wikipedia? What are good sources for historic images? How can we best inform the public? And what do the image guys do on Wikipedia, anyway? By talking his way through a wide sample of images he's worked with, Adam Cuerden explains the different types of historical media, both in method of production and its purpose, how to determine the usefulness of an image to explaining history, and explains the basic philosophy of image restoration - how it's done, and how one knows how to fix the damage.

This is a repeat of a talk given in Edinburgh in early February. As that talk was for a general audience, I will be revising it for a Wikipedia audience, and to include the best points brought up in that session's Q&A. It consists of going through a variety of images I've worked on, and explaining for each the way it helps explain history, how that type of image adds to our understanding of history, and so on. To give an example:

This is a photochrom, a colourized black-and-white photograph where the additions of colour are added by lithographic plates. Whereas modern half-toning tends to use four colours - red, yellow, blue, and black - though we've moved red to magenta and blue to cyan in recent years - early lithographic plates were a bit fussy, and it was hard to get colours to mix accurately, so they instead used far more colours. I've heard fourteen colours being bandied around for this set of images; that sounds about right, but I don't have proof of that. This image shows the Zwinger Palace and Sophienkirche in Dresden, and it turns out this is a very valuable image: the bombing of Dresden in World War II utterly devastated the city, and whilst they rebuilt the Zwinger Palace, the ruins of the Sophienkirche were razed in the sixties, because socialist East Germany didn't think that citizens needed churches, even iconic, historic ones. While photochroms aren't always 100% accurate in their colours, this image is probably one of the best views of this lost piece of architecture that we have.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes possible, 60 minutes preferred. I would like to have a Q&A session afterwards, so 45 minutes + 15 for questions would be my preference.
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Yes, but I do need the scholarship to afford travel.

Slides or further information (optional)

Slides will be more-or-less taken from the restorations at w:en:User:Adam Cuerden and their originals, concentrating on the most recent ones. As I expect to have at least 30 more by August, probably more like 60, I can't give a list at present, since the fresher a restoration is in one's mind, the more questions one can answer about it.

Special requests

I'll need a decent screen that all the audience can see, but I'd imagine that's not that special of a request. Otherwise, I'm fine.

Interested attendees

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  1. Iván Montejo-Martínez (talk) 15:33, 7 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Skyrunner75 (talk) 20:25, 16 February 2015 (UTC)Skyrunner75[reply]
  3. Add your username here.