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  #1  
Old 11-20-2003, 11:32 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Default Air Photo Archive Keele University, Staffordshire, UK - 3

Daniel Uziel
duziel@yahoo.com
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Posted: 19 November 2003 03:34
Post subject: GX - captured German PR photos in NARA and in the Keele University Library

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi,
Recently I posted a query in which I casually mentioned the GX collection in NARA. I thought that this is a well known material but Richard suggested that I should write more about it.
GX was the codename allocated to captured German photoreconnaissance (PR) imagery captured at the end of WWII. Around 1.250.000 such photos were taken by the allies and were studied during the late 40s-early 50s by intelligence experts in order to gain information about East Europe. Today most of the GX material is stored in NARA II near DC, where its current signature is RG 373. You can find out more about it by going to the NARA search engine
http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/basic_search.jsp

Simply type “GX” in the main text box and then select “Photographs and other Graphic Materials” from the “Type of Archival Material” drop box beneath. It should be the 5th item in the results list.
I never searched this collection by my own, but my colleagues in the US and the UK tell me that today the research there is a self-service matter, including the printing of previews with ordinary printer. Some of the GX imagery is also stored in the Keele University Library, where the RAF’s PR material is currently stored.
http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/is/airphoto/index.htm

(A short article about the British collections can be found here)
http://www.caliach.com/paulr/articles/html/keele.html

Anyway, THE place for German imagery is NARA. Keele is also practically a one woman operation, so service there can be quite problematic.
The potential of the GX collection is quite obvious and I hope that this information will help someone out there.
Yours,
Daniel Uziel
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:14 PM
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Richard T. Eger
Me 262's along the Autobahn
Mon Jan 12 20:52:15 2004
69.72.3.74

Dear fellow researchers,

I have been corresponding with Michael Grube of the http://www.lostplaces.de website regarding the first photo in his article about Autobahn-Flugplätze, http://www.lostplaces.de/nlp/index.html . A group of 6 of us are trying to piece together the various photos, both aerial reconnaissance and on the ground, showing the Me 262 Waldwerke and nearby Autobahns. Mike's photo is very nice, but we were hoping for a higher definition image. Mike said he got it from someone in the publishing business in France, but couldn't remember who, and the image on his site is all he has. I tried C-J Ehrengardt, but he wasn't the one. So, if anyone out there knows where this photo came from, I'd sure like to hear from you. And, of course, if you know of other similar photos, these would be mighty helpful, too.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:14 PM
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From further within the thread on TOCH!:

Marko Jeras
I have seen such photos
Mon Jan 12 21:57:18 2004
195.29.53.89

Only I was searching for other locations, so I now and then seen photos of Autobahns with planes beside it.

The place where I saw it is the Aerial Photos archive in Keele in UK where is kept 'complete' Allied aerial coverage of Europe AND (this is somewhat unknown Luftwaffe coverage of the Eastern front, BUT (there is always one of those) this photos are still untouched, unsorted and will stay in that (unusable) state for years to come.

I have been in that archive last year and all Allied photos are originals of 10x10 inches in size, in scale depending on the flight level. Usualy photos are excellent, there is quality rating, 'A' being excellent.

The bad side of the story if very hing price of photos scaned or scaned/printed, there is no negatives anymore.

If you are more interested in this, I can tell you more.

With best regards,

Marko
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:15 PM
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From TOCH!:

Richard T. Eger
Keele Photo Archives
Mon Jan 12 23:33:10 2004
69.72.5.148

Dear Markos,

Yes, I would certainly like to hear more about your experiences at Keele. I've heard that the search fee is high. But, it sounds like you did your own searching. Did this eliminate the search fee? What kind of photo copying do they offer and what is the price? Were all of the photos aerial photos, or were some taken on the ground, like the one on Michael Grube's site?

Regards,
Richard
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:17 PM
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E-mail from Marko Jeras to Richard T. Eger, 15 Jan. 2004:

Dear Richard,

Firstly, they have 'only' few million aerial photos, no 'ground' photos. They don't do classic photo reproduction, since they don't have the negatives (they were probably recycled after the war), so they can scan original photos in 1:1 scale scan (10x10 inches), the price depending on resolution. In May last year the price of 300 dpi scan was 20 GBP. And you have to consider that for target coverage you need 1-6 photos (depending the size of target and photo scale). I have spent 5 days there, searching thru photos for 4 days, the fee for daily search was 20 GBP. I was lucky to have a sponsor for that research, and I went there because I realised that the only way to find what your are looking for is to go there and see the photos. There is two ways to find photos of specific area/tartger you are interested in: by geographical latitude and longitude (in 10-minutes-square size) OR by sortie number that could be found in mission report in the RAF or USAAF archives. Last year the archive staff was scaning sortie plots (either maps with drown-on areas photographed on one sortie or thin-white paper that was put on the map and the areas drown on the paper). From sortie plot you can get very good idea what is photo coverage for particular sortie. The archive menager planed to put this scans on the internet so you can do your own search of the area you are interested in. I will see to find out if they have done that. Also, there was tendency to make archive commercial and lower the price of the scans/photo prints (down to possibly 2 GBP?) so that more people could buy more photos from the archive (that is financialy self-founded).

Do you know exact location of Autobahn parts used as runways and in which time period?

I hope to have been of help, and if you have any questions, just ask. All the best,

Marko Jeras
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2004, 02:23 PM
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E-mail from Richard T. Eger to Marko Jeras, 15 Jan. 2004:

Dear Marko,

Thank you for your detailed information.

I've also heard a rumor that the Keele collection would eventually end up at the PRO. That would have pluses and minuses. Cost would probably remain high, although I don't think even the PRO charges 20 GBP per photo, but I could have a bad memory. When I was there briefly in 2002, if they didn't have the negative, they would happily make one at no charge, thus being able to enlarge their negative library. The result would be that you'd get an actual photographic print. This has a distinct advantage in that it is analog and can be magnified to obtain high detail.

NARA II here in the USA has 2 Kodak Picture Makers. I'd rate the KPM at about 98% fidelity to the original and quite acceptable. The cost for self-service is $5.75 for an 8' x 10" print, cheap by the standards at other archives or if NARA II has the photo professionally printed. The KPM requires no negative, as it copies the photo directly.

I sent an e-mail to Marilyn Beech asking whether there had been any policy shift to allow payment by credit card. (I learned they now accept payment by credit card). That was two days ago and, so far, I have not received a reply. It might be worth my while calling Keele directly, especially as you have raised the possibility that there may be a price restructuring in the offing.

I have obtained a fair number of Military Intelligence Photographic Interpretation reports on Leipheim, Schwäbisch Hall, and Kahla. At least some of these list the sorties so I could use the sortie numbers to order or search by. However, without a price restructuring, it may be better to visit Keele in person as part of a general research trip. The best thing for me to do, however, is to go back to NARA II and wring that resource dry before embarking on an expedition to Keele. Still, I like to sound out the waters through pre-planning. I may learn something that makes doing this long distance more palatably but, at the least, it will prepare me for a future visit. My policy is to be as well prepared as possible before visiting an archive. In this way, I maximize the use of my time.

I can probably pretty closely pin down the locations geographically. However, it isn't an exact science. I'm looking for the Me 262 forest production facilities and these aren't exactly well documented. For instance, one book suggests that the Schwäbisch Hall facility was in the forest to the immediate southeast of the airfield. Well, there was no forest there! There is, however, a forest further south, but the cover of that area is not good as the photo reconnaissance aircraft focused on the airfield. Thus, any coverage of the Schwäbisch Hall forest facility would be either from altitude or by pure dumb luck. That's just another reason to go look in person.

Another obvious reason to visit is to only buy photos that cover the area I wish to see. For instance, there could be a dozen photos from a single raid, but only one or two of any value. Of course, I think I'm telling you something you already well know. The other advantage of visiting in person is the ability to make course corrections in your research to take advantage of discoveries made right on the spot.

One of the huge drawbacks I found when trying to locate covers in NARA II's cartography department was the very bad finding aid maps available to do the original call-ups of covers. They had a generalized low resolution atlas that was pretty useless. But, once you got the boxes of covers, then there would be an excellent 1° x 1° detail map that went with them. How good are the finding aid maps at Keele, that is, before you actually get to the boxes of covers?

You say they make 300 dpi scans. Does that mean they simply burn a CD for you?

Any guidance as to what you do at Keele from walking in the door to getting your scan would be appreciated. What is the attitude of the research staff toward the researcher? That may seem like an odd question. At NARA II, I am none too pleased with the attitude of the "help" in the textual reading room, although the archivist I use is quite helpful. By "help", I mean the folks that monitor the area and do the go do's of assisting you physically get what you need, not the archivist who helps you zero in on what to order up. When I was at the PRO in 2002, I was extremely pleasantly surprised by the great courtesy and deference shown by all to the researcher. It was a true pleasure to research there. So, I guess, I'm trying to get a feel as to what it feels like to research at Keele. As you were there for 5 days, you certainly got a feel for the place.

Thanks in advance for any further advice or insight you might give.

Warmest regards,
Richard
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:27 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Daniel Uziel
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Posted: 21 January 2004 08:09
Post subject: Keele going online (?)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear members,
For those who missed the media reporting, the Keele WWII aerial photos archive was supposed to go online on Monday. Due to the massive on-rush of visitors the server of http://www.evidenceincamera.co.uk/ crashed and is still down.
When its operators will be able to put it online again I am sure that it will be a worthwhile item in your favorites list. It was reported that they will have previews of around 5 million photos they have in their store. High-res copies should be available at the price of 10 UK pounds. There were however no details about the search functions and databases used in this website.
Regards,
Daniel Uziel
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2004, 02:28 PM
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From 12 O'Clock High! (Allied Board):

Frank Olynyk
Keele University Photo Archives
Sat Jan 17 06:03:50 2004
69.40.201.43

The Keele University Photo Archives are going online. The url is http://www.evidenceincamera.co.uk:8080/arecon/index.jsp

This collection includes the available RAF reconnaissance photographs (Europe only apparently) taken during World War 2 (I did not see any reference to the USAAF). It will also, in a few months, include a large collection of captured German reconnaissance photos that have been held since WW2 as a NATO resource. An example photo of Moscow is shown.

You will be able to search, with some effort, the entire photo collection, and order copies. Low grade copies will apparently be emailed for 1.50 pounds (including VAT; don't know if this would be subtracted if sent outside England/EU). Higher quality prints (300 dpi) are 10 pounds; the more dpi the more pounds. Payment is by credit card only (about ten different ones were listed); cash or checks will be returned.

It would appear that they also intend to add other photos taken around the world during WW2.

Usual disclaimer: I am not Ed West.

Frank.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2004, 02:30 PM
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E-mail from Marko Jeras to Richard T. Eger, 22 Jan. 2004:

Dear Richard,

I spoke with Marylyn Beech two days ago and she told me that the web-site server is over-loaded, but things will cool-down in a week time, when people realise that there is NO 5 mil. photos scaned on-line. As I told you before, only sortie-plots have been scaned.

I wanted something else to tell you, if you are looking for Me 262 production facility near airfield, sortie that cover airfield will cover the area near the actual airfield. I know this for sure, since I was searching the archive for photos of Croatian airfields and always there is a series of the photos covering the target since the plane flys over it and pilot press the camera shooting triger quite some time before it fly over the target.

The archive staff is very good in interpreting the content of the photos, so if you know the area in 10-minute square, and explain what you are looking for, they can find it. As I heard, you will be able to search on-line for the sortie-plot of the area you are interested in, than tell them what you would like to see on the photo(s) and than they can show you low-resolutin scan (at 1 pound cost) for you to choose if you want hi-resolution scan of that photo.

Again, my opinion is that the search for such 'delicate' targets on the photos, such as Me 262s, could be done only by research in the archive. But, the archive has actualy done this on-line site to preserve photos from handling of researchers, to stop touching the photos.

So much for now, I whish you good luch in you research. All the best,

Marko Jeras
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2004, 11:56 AM
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Christer Bergström
5 million RAF WW II photos on a Web site
Sat Jan 17 23:17:28 2004
81.225.209.126

"A huge British archive of World War II aerial reconnaissance photos, including pictures of the D-Day landings in Normandy, is to go on the Internet on Monday. Under the digitalization project announced Saturday, some 5 million Royal Air Force photos of Western Europe will be available to the public on the Web site www.evidenceincamera.co.uk., archivists said. The site did not appear to be accessible on Saturday.
"These images allow us to see the real war at first hand — as if we are RAF pilots," said Allan Williams, head of the Aerial Reconnaissance Archives project at Keele University in north-central England.
The photos, a key source of intelligence for Allied commanders during the war, include American troops landing in Normandy on D-Day, the effects of the bombing of Cologne, Germany, and the German battleship Bismarck being hunted by the Royal Navy.
The pictures were transferred to Keele University in 1962 from the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, where wartime analysts studied the material collected by reconnaissance crews. The collection is the property of the national Public Records Office on permanent loan to the university.
Before the digitalization, using the photo archive had meant a manual search through thousands of boxes.
The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives, known as TARA, expects later to release of 2.5 million Luftwaffe German air force reconnaissance photographs of Eastern Europe seized by the Allies at the end of the war."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...in_wwii_photos
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2004, 11:58 AM
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From TOCH!:

Michael
Wonderful - but what about the bandwidth
Sun Jan 18 00:33:34 2004
207.254.27.65

Great news for all enthusiasts and researchers, but given the size of high-resolution image files, the bandwidth required to satisfy all possible demands must be enormous.

I hope the university's server will not break down under the load.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2004, 11:59 AM
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From TOCH!:

Dunash
Why no RAF gun camera footage
Sun Jan 18 04:11:27 2004
217.132.166.194

There is very little RAF gun camera footage in existence. Is it true that Churchill ordered it all destroyed in 1950? Why?
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:00 PM
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From TOCH!:

TColvin
Gun camera footage
Sun Jan 18 04:47:00 2004
209.90.135.126

I put that question 25 years ago to the Imperial War Museum (IWM).
I was told that gun camera footage was on some kind of film - its late and the term is on the tip of my tongue - that is unstable. I believe I was told that some footage existed in store but no one knew what to do with it.
The question needs to be put again to the IWM.
My interest was and is Typhoon rocket attacks. In that case, I was told, the camera ran only when the guns were fired, and therefore pictures of rocket strikes would only exist if the guns were being fired at the same time. That happened infrequently.
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:00 PM
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From TOCH!:

Christer Bergström
I'm only the piano player
Sun Jan 18 16:15:24 2004
81.225.209.126

Please note that I only pasted an AP article in my posting. Click on the hyperlink below in my previous posting, and you can see it. There you will also find a slideshow of RAF WW II photos.

All best,

Christer Bergström
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:01 PM
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From TOCH!:

martin
Gun camera footage
Sun Jan 18 18:10:37 2004
81.152.117.88

The film is acetate. The IWM has a number of spools. I've had some transferred to video. The quality of image is sometimes very good, bearing in mind the technology that existed.
The film only rolled if the guns were fired.
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:07 PM
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From TOCH!:

Ged
Gun Camera Footage
Sun Jan 18 18:26:41 2004
193.188.97.151

In the mid 70's, I spent a whole day in a booth set up specifically at the Imperial War Museum, watching camera footage from German fighters. Amazing. I think they were spools of 32 or 35 mm film.

I came in one week and looked through their long list of topics from the various fronts, and gave them my choice. A week later, I was shown into a room/booth and ran one spool after another - including on the Eastern and Western Fronts - B-17s, Russian Il-2s, etc being shot and/or being shot down.

One pilot emptied all his guns at a Il-2, and it just kept flying along.

At the time, nearly 30 years ago, the viewing was available to anyone who was interested.

Ged
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:08 PM
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From TOCH!:

Christer Bergström
Il-2 - the Cement Bomber
Sun Jan 18 21:08:19 2004
81.225.209.126

"One pilot emptied all his guns at a Il-2, and it just kept flying along."

That reminds me of an interesting discussion that was held on the "Allied" board around Christmas.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:09 PM
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From TOCH!:

Marko Jeras
I have seen it
Sun Jan 18 09:56:06 2004
193.198.130.183

Dear Christer,

I was in May last year in Keele, and spent five days in the Archive, talked with Allan. They have scanned so-called 'sortie-plots', and there was no intention to scan all the photos they have. The idea was that when a customer find on sortie plot the series of the photos covering the exact area he is interested in, then they would take out the box and low-scan the photo that show what you are interested in. If the content of that photo satisfy you, you can then order hi-res.scan of printed copy of the photo.

If they scaned 5 mil. photos in six months, I will go ku-ku ) That sound toooooooo good. We'll see on Monday.

All the best,

Marko
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:39 PM
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Xtrav
RAF aerial recc photos online - Luft later
Sun Jan 18 05:56:12 2004
65.34.98.182

LONDON - A huge British archive of World War II aerial reconnaissance photos, including pictures of the D-Day landings in Normandy, is to go on the Internet on Monday.

Under the digitalization project announced Saturday, some 5 million Royal Air Force photos of Western Europe will be available to the public on the Web site www.evidenceincamera.co.uk., archivists said. The site did not appear to be accessible on Saturday.

"These images allow us to see the real war at first hand — as if we are RAF pilots," said Allan Williams, head of the Aerial Reconnaissance Archives project at Keele University in north-central England.


The photos, a key source of intelligence for Allied commanders during the war, include American troops landing in Normandy on D-Day, the effects of the bombing of Cologne, Germany, and the German battleship Bismarck being hunted by the Royal Navy.


The pictures were transferred to Keele University in 1962 from the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, where wartime analysts studied the material collected by reconnaissance crews. The collection is the property of the national Public Records Office on permanent loan to the university.


Before the digitalization, using the photo archive had meant a manual search through thousands of boxes.


The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives, known as TARA, expects later to release of 2.5 million Luftwaffe German air force reconnaissance photographs of Eastern Europe seized by the Allies at the end of the war.
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2004, 11:25 AM
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Alan Scheckenbach
Aerial photographs of Flak positions around Schweinfurt
Tue Apr 6, 2004 06:57
203.10.231.229

Gents

Does anyone have any or any idea of where to find wartime aerial photos (most probably recon photos) of the Flak positions around Schweinfurt?

The Evidence in Camera website isn't operational so that one's no good to me and searching on Google doesn't turn anything up

Thanks

Alan
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