Europeana – A dream come true for every antique photography fan


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I love looking at old photographs. One of my nicest childhood memories is how I was sitting on my great-grandmother’s attic with a box full of faded photographs I kept browsing through.

I’ve always been fascinated by the past and the changes that have taken place since then. Very often I was running around with some of the photos from the box for hours, trying to find out where that picture had been taken. The characters in the pictures, their looks and especially their clothes always compelled me completely. Quite often I was also shocked about how poor they all looked, picturing their story and their lives, and whenever I had the chance I persuaded my great-grandma to tell me more about the photograph.

Even today I’m always happy about old photos of the town in a museum or sight where they are shown, and mostly I get stuck with those pictures without paying enough attention to the actual sight.

When I recently browsed the internet for antique photographs, I came across the platform Europeana and I felt like discovering a treasure. In the archives of Europeana you can find more than 53 million pieces of art, books, videos and photographs from the Europe of a bygone age.

Europeana’s latest project deals with the first 100 years in photography. More than 2.2 million historic pictures are freely accessible to view on the platform, which gives us an incredible insight into the past. The photos, which have been searched for, collected, categorized and digitalized for this purpose, are like a dream come true for me. Since I discovered Europeana, I’ve been clicking through the archives on an everyday basis and simply can’t get enough.

Some of you may already be familiar with this platform, but all those of you who don’t know it yet, I want to recommend browsing Europeana’s archives. Perhaps you’ll feel the way I do and you will find old photos of places you know personally, and perhaps – just like me – you will finally get stuck with these impressions! 😉

[Les Arenes]

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