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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
Online Library of Selected Images --
Scope and Limitations of the Online Library
From time to time, questions arise about the nature, scope
and limitations of the Online Library. This page addresses some
of these questions.
What the Online Library IS:
It's a Picture Catalog -- The Online Library
is a catalog of some of the photographs and other images
held by the Naval Historical Center's Photographic
Section. This catalog can be conveniently used by anyone with
Internet access. The individual images referenced by the Online
Library are presented with captioning information, appropriate
credit lines and digital reproductions. Subject presentions generally
include brief introductory text, providing limited background
information relevant to subjects and pictures.
It's a Source of Images that are BELIEVED to be in
the Public Domain -- To the best of our knowledge, all
images referenced in the Online Library are in the Public Domain.
They can be used by anyone, for any purpose, without obtaining
our permission (which WILL NOT be given, if requested), and without
payment of usage fees to the Naval Historical Center.
It's a "Work in Process" -- Since
its beginnings in early 1998, the Online Library has grown to
include over 22,000 individual images, with about 200 new pictures
added monthly. It includes presentations on a variety of subjects,
among them more than a thousand U.S. Navy SHIPS, hundreds of other
SHIPS and PEOPLE, a growing number of EVENTS and a variety of
other topics. New subjects are being added regularly and coverage
of existing subjects is frequently expanded.
What the Online Library IS NOT:
It's NOT a Comprehensive Catalog of the Naval Historical
Center's Pictures -- The Online Library contains only
a small fraction of the total image holdings of the Naval Historical
Center's Photographic Section. At present, it contains less than
ten percent of the Photo Section's individually indexed images.
With only another percent or two being added each year, the Online
Library is not and probably never will be a fully comprehensive
catalog of the Photographic Section's picture collections.
Other components of the Naval Historical Center have separate
pictorial holdings, most notably the the Navy Art Collection,
Art Gallery represents a dynamic Internet presentation of
paintings and other art works, and the Naval
Aviation History Branch.
It's Certainly NOT a Comprehensive Catalog of Official
Navy Photography -- The Naval Historical Center's photo
collection is not and never has been the Navy's OFFICIAL photographic
collection. For photos taken since about 1982, the Official collection
is held by the Defense
Visual Information Center. Earlier Official Navy images are
in the collections of the National Archives' Still Picture Branch.
It's NOT a Source of Authoritative Historical Information
-- The brief text that introduces most Online Library subject
presentations is intended only to provide some background information
that will enhance the utility of the pictures provided on that
subject. This text is generally based on limited research in secondary
sources, is deliberately concise and often lacks precise detail.
People needing authoritative and detailed information should consult
standard reference works on the subjects involved.
It's NOT a Direct Source of high-resolution reproduction
quality digital images -- Online Library images are generally
posted at slightly better than computer screen quality (96 dpi,
with most images measuring about 740 pixels in the long dimension).
They were scanned by historical professionals, who do not necessarily
possess high digital image processing skills.
The Online Library's images are intended to provide a good
representation of image content and a REASONABLE approximation
of actual image quality.
In nearly all cases, these images should be satisfactory for
computer-based and 35mm slide presentations, and for newspaper
publication up to two or three columns in width.
Online Library images are not expected to be suitable for
higher standards of publication, exhibition, or close study of
details. For such purposes higher resolution reproductions
are available for all Online Library images. See our page How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions
for further information on this.
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Historical Center home page.
Text and links revised 30 November 2006