Making (Funding) History

History is sometimes in textbooks, nonfiction volumes or library shelves back in the “dusty” stacks. Hollywood has produced a lot of documentary or dramatized film and recently digital video you can find via the Intenet. However, much more often the actual visual records of  history are in the photo albums of families.


You can go to a library and can access some of their records. You don’t typically have the opportunity to open an old family album. They usually sit in a drawer or on a shelf in a private home until passed on to the next generation. The younger family members may not even care much about the old stuff.

In this case, the old album is full of approximately 1000 well preserved photos of life during the time of the first world war. It is also our good fortune is that the grandson of the photographer for this private album sees and values the contents of the album. Even more interesting, is that Dean Putney, who has the album, wants to convert the photos to digital form so the album can be of general value, not just stuck in the bureau drawer. What a treat for historians and for teachers of world history and for their students.

Now that you have heard of the album, what can you do to make the conversion happen?

Dean Putney, grandson of the photographer, is trying to get enough money from a large group of supporters, each pledging a small amount to make the project happen. He has launched a campaign on a “crowdfunding” website called Kickstarter.

Go to the project page at Kickstarter. Watch the promo video. Check the options for support.

For the small sum of $8.00, you can support the project AND get your own copy of the PDF file he wants to produce by scanning each photo and organizing the digital pages to be like the physical album he has pulled out of the drawer. You will be able to pick and choose from the images and tell the story of World War I in a whole new way.

Is the pledge safe to do? Yes. My experience backing other Kickstarter projects has been very good. Sometimes my support gets me a set of stickers, a tee shirt, or sometimes even an early release of the actual product. The money doesn’t get charged to your credit card until the project is fully funded through support from many supporters.

How about you?
Would you pledge $8.00?
I have.

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