Any "combat photo"-friendly sharing sites on the web?
August 8, 2008 5:14 AM   Subscribe

I have some photos that were in my grandfather's possession of the preparations and the aftermath of The Battle of Attu. He served in the 7th Infantry and fought in the battle. Some of the photos are pretty graphic and some contain ethnic slurs, but I think they may be of some interest to WWII history buffs.

I would like to put scans online, but I believe that the content would violate the ToS for most of the sharing sites I've checked and I'd rather not use my own hosting account unless I need to. I couldn't find any comparable material during some quick searches on Flickr, but I may have just missed them.

Does anyone know if this type of material is okay for Flickr or if there is another photo sharing site that would accept this kind of material?
posted by monkeymcgee to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: After looking through the Flickr documentation here's what I think.

You could mark the photos as unsafe. It looks like content wise you can upload pretty much whatever you want as long as it's set at the proper safety level.

Where you might run into some issues is with the copyright. You didn't take the photos.

- Do upload content that you have created.
Respect the copyright of others. This means don't steal photos or videos that other people have shared and pass them off as your own. (That’s what favorites are for.)

- Don’t upload anything that isn't yours.
This includes other people's photos, video and/or stuff you've collected from around the Internet. Accounts that consist primarily of such collections may be terminated at any time.
posted by theichibun at 5:56 AM on August 8, 2008

Response by poster: Interesting--I didn't consider the copyright issue. It appears all the photos were taken by the one of the Signal Corps units attached to the division (and my grandfather did some time with them, so he may have actually taken the ones I have). I don't know if that makes a difference for copyrights since they were technically taken by the US Government.

Thanks for the advice.
posted by monkeymcgee at 6:01 AM on August 8, 2008

You could contact your nearest university library - I know of various war collections e.g. the Liddle collection of WW1 manuscripts. Many libraries are currently engaged in major digitisation projects, and the pictures might find a natural home alongside other contemporary sources. IANAL (I am not a librarian) so I cannot be more specific than this, but it could be an idea.
posted by handee at 6:27 AM on August 8, 2008

Best answer: Ok, Long time lurker, first time poster. I actually just joined MeFi to answer this question and favorite it.

Lately I have had a big-time appetite for anything Military/War related. Books, pictures, documentaries etc. I literally just finished reading a book about the Battle of Attu and have been flabbergasted by the battles I have heard about there. Most people don't even realize the bloody fighting that took place on the Aleutian Islands.

That being said, I would highly recommend the site Although it isn't made for pictures in the way of a flickr, the community on that site is a large, international, and VERY knowledgeable crowd when it comes to anything military. I would highly recommend browsing the forums and uploading them there. If you would prefer not to upload them there they will be able to direct you to many places you can display your pictures. Like I said, 99% of the community there are respectful, military types so as long as you warn them there are graphic pictures inside they will appreciate the photos highly. Some HUGE military, esp. WW2 buffs in there.

Thanks for the motivation to join Mefi!
posted by OuttaHere at 6:56 AM on August 8, 2008 [3 favorites]

If you do post them somewhere, can you follow up here for those of us who are curious?
posted by procrastination at 7:11 AM on August 8, 2008

Best answer: Unclear why you have an aversion to your own hosting. Are you afraid of the bandwidth costs? Or is there some other issue?

I use the pro plan with Pair, but they have a service called "Pair Lite." For around $100 or so you get a registered domain, a year of hosting, and php/msql access. And they will cut you off if you go over your bandwidth (rather than hitting you with a huge bill when you get slashdotted).

A second hosting account, not related to the one you have, might alleviate other concerns.

There are tons of free msql galleries out there. In a weekend, even knowing nothing about hosting, databases, etc. You could have a really cool site up with commenting and the usual stuff. And since you're already hosting somewhere, sounds like you have a leg up on knowing this stuff.

And from the age of the photos, I probably wouldn't worry about copyright. Since they are originals, I would think you're safe there. Unless the actual person who took the photo, saw it online, and complained, I doubt if you would have any issues, and I don't see that happening. But then I'm not a lawyer. I just know if I had them this wouldn't even be on my radar as a concern.

Chances are, even if someone still alive saw a photo, and remarkably recognized it as a shot he took, he'd be grateful to see it again and know others could see it again as well. Assuming it's still under copyright at all.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:14 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You make a good point about the hosting, but basically I'd rather these photos be out where people can find them if they want to see them. And I switch hosting packages frequently enough that I'd rather not have to deal with moving these around all the time.

For someone else though, that's good advice.
posted by monkeymcgee at 7:26 AM on August 8, 2008

Response by poster: OuttaHere: I'm glad my question resulted in you joining :) sounds great. I'll definitely post a link to my photos on there so anyone interested can take a look and maybe give me some more info on them.
posted by monkeymcgee at 7:28 AM on August 8, 2008

Response by poster: procrastination: I ended up just going with Flickr for now

The Attu photos are here.

I also had some unrelated WWII photos with those and put them in another set.
posted by monkeymcgee at 7:30 AM on August 8, 2008

Response by poster: I'm not trying to set the record for commenting on my own question, but I did find some sites that may be worth checking out if you are interested this battle.

There appears to be a photo collection in Anchorage with pictures from the Signal Corps that sound similar to what my grandfather had.

Also, I found a nicely detailed 12-page history of the battle available here (PDF warning)
posted by monkeymcgee at 7:51 AM on August 8, 2008

I asked for space to post my (still kind of a draft) paper on my Grandpa's WWII unit because it's so little known. I included scans of a bunch of Signal Corps photos: they were created by the U.S. Gobmint, so they should be public domain.

I'm on a good WWII mailing list with a guy whose dad served up there in the Ice And Snow, and I bet he'd love to see your pictures.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:06 AM on August 8, 2008

Best answer: A friend wrote:
> This website is where my fathers pictures of Attu are at:
> Also the 7th ID Association can help with any questions on these pic as well.
> I've seen some photos very similar to these in the "Thousand Mile War" and The Battle of Attu".

My own pages, mentioned above, are at
posted by wenestvedt at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: wenestvedt: Thanks so much for the additional resources.
posted by monkeymcgee at 10:47 AM on August 8, 2008

Best answer: Not quite on topic but possibly useful anyway:

monkeymcgee, you might want to check out the documentary Red, White, Black & Blue. It's about two veterans of Attu returning to the site, with lots of historical commentary/context.
posted by dogrose at 10:55 AM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: dogrose: Awesome! Thanks for sharing that. I'll definitely check that out.
posted by monkeymcgee at 11:03 AM on August 8, 2008

Best answer: I know that the Alaska State Historical Collections and the Alaska State Museum is actively seeking artifacts and historical information on WWII in Alaska. I recently helped the Historical Collections put up a brief photo exhibit highlighting some of the stuff they have from WWII. They may be interested in seeing your photos on Flickr. You can contact them at

Also, a visit to Alaska's Digital Archives will give you some more photos to look at. This is a group project with state agencies, universities, community archives, and tribal organizations. The two keywords that seemed to bring up the most relevant info were 'war' and 'Attu.'
posted by Foam Pants at 11:53 PM on August 9, 2008

Oh, and if you are interested in any of the photo labels or in a timeline of WWII in Alaska, I can send you a PDF. I have a short list of books I used to research these things. They are intended to initiate viewers into learning about WWII in Alaska so they aren't great scholarly works. I'm going to show your photos to my co-workers on Monday. I am sure they will like them, especially the guy who scans photos for the Digital Archives. He loves this stuff.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:03 AM on August 10, 2008

Response by poster: Foam Pants: Thanks for the link to the photo exhibit--there's some great samples there.

I will definitely send the Historical Collections an email about the photos.

And please do send me the PDF to the address listed in my profile. That sounds really interesting.
posted by monkeymcgee at 12:05 AM on August 11, 2008

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