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I only recently started my family history quest and have various (captioned) photos & other items regarding people not related to me. Save starting my own web site, is there some place I can upload them for future researchers where they would be easy to find and available for free?

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    Hi @Mike. Welcome to Stack Exchange. I posed a similar question to this at: genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/1568/108, some time ago. I'm not suggesting yours is a duplicate - yours is more precise and deserves a more-precise answer - but my previous one might still be of interest to you. – ACProctor Feb 2 '13 at 15:09
  • Thank you. In typical newbie fashion I didn't do a search before posting my question (despite the fact that I've been "online" for over 20 years). Haha. Anyway we'll see if any different solutions come in. – Mike Feb 2 '13 at 15:24
  • Although the two cases are slightly related, the data I wanted to share included BMD certs, newspaper reports, wills, a whole lot of reasoning, and a substantial tree, but no photos. Hence, I'm genuinely interested in the responses you'll get. – ACProctor Feb 2 '13 at 15:59
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For photos, one simple (non-genealogy-specific) alternative is to explore Flickr or a similar free photo-sharing site. On Flickr, there's even a Genealogy group. You would need to take care with tagging the photographs to make them as discoverable as possible by anyone searching for the individuals concerned.

You would also need to make sure you also had the rights to upload the photographs -- this will depend on how you acquired them. For example Copyright Issues with Content Providers discusses issues around sharing images you download from the web.

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  • Thanks for your reply. In this case I'm mostly talking about a pile of 300 unpublished photographs/postcards in my possession from about 1910 to 1950. So copyright is not a concern. But I also recently got some death certificates that ended up being not relevant to my research and thought it would be good to be able to post them somewhere. – Mike Feb 2 '13 at 22:14
  • It seems we all end up with BMD certificates that turn out not to be relevant @Mike - such is the inadequacy of the search-and-purchase process for these in places like the UK. It's almost deserving of a question on its own. I have seen places where they can be posted but none that seem to have any great participation – ACProctor Feb 4 '13 at 13:38
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For the BMD certificates, since I'm interested too, I did a little research just now by searching for "Unwanted BMD certificates". One of the main hits was http://www.certificate-exchange.co.uk/ who cater for exactly the sitation you mention regarding certificates.

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Well I didn't find a definitive answer but the best bet to start I think is http://www.cyndislist.com/lost/ where there are many links related to this very subject. The one central place appears to be http://searches.rootsweb.ancestry.com/share.html which I assume will remain freely accessible but one can't be sure.

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I would suggest the Internet Archive as a good permanent online home for these sorts of things. You can include lots of metadata, and easily link to and from other places on the web. The IA is a non-profit organisation that aims at long-term preservation of digital items.

If someone makes a copyright claim against one of your items, it may be taken down — but this is reasonably unlikely with most genealogical material, I think.

The other site I'd consider is Figshare, which is a commercial academically-oriented open access digital archive. Again, good support for metadata and searchability, and your items will be assigned a DOI for easier citability.

Lastly, as another answer suggests, Flickr is a pretty great place for photos. The original file is stored and can be made available to everyone, and there's good metadata (including Creative Commons licencing, with explicit Public Domain too). I'd avoid using Flickr for documents though, as there are other better places for these.

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