Tulsa's mystery places and mystery faces

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Unidentified ModelSome years ago, I suggested that the Tulsa Library or Tulsa Historical Society put the Beryl Ford Collection on Flickr as a way to make the photos easier to tag and to make it easy to collect comments and annotations that would add context to the pictures. Several world-renowned archives, including the Library of Congress, began doing just that, as part of the Flickr Commons project.

Unidentified Wedding PianistNow Tulsa Library has followed suit, posting over 1000 photos of unknown people and over 250 photos of unknown places on their Flickr account, and asking Tulsans and others to look through them and see if the photos jog any memories.

Oklahoma Tire and Supply: Unidentified Man, 1959

There are many fascinating photos, some intriguing, some laugh-out-loud funny. Many of the photos appear to be taken in and around the American Legion hall. There are some wedding pictures, pictures of manufacturing companies, photos of pro wrestlers, golfers, hockey players, and bathing beauties, photos of new houses, remnants of TV advertising.

Unidentified Barber and Customer

The photos were uploaded in full resolution, so you can zoom into the tiniest detail, and there you may find the clue that solves the mystery.

Here are a few favorites: Here's a steel guitar class for children. The little lady on the left end of the top row is barely bigger than her instrument, but she seems quite pleased about things.

Unidentified Individuals

And this photo seems to be from the same place on the same day -- it's Johnnie Lee Wills and Leon McAuliffe with a bunch of kids, one of whom has a book of music by Hawaiian steel guitarist Eddie Alkire:

Unidentified Group

I give this one the title, "You're next, tuna breath!"


MORE: Here's the description of the project from the Tulsa Library's blog:

TCCL now has a Flickr collection with sets for events, library locations, and special collections. Three sets in the special collections are devoted to the digital collections: local history, unknown people, and unknown places. Right now, local history is a small set featuring select images from the digital collections. The unknown people and unknown places sets consist of images from the collections that have little information. The Beryl Ford Collection, in particular, has thousands of images with little or no information. Resources to provide detailed descriptions and historical context for the many thousands of items in the digital collections are limited. With Flickr, we want to encourage user participation in the identification of the images and to make our resources more available, discoverable, and useful. We hope that both known and unknown audiences will want to comment, share, and engage in community conversations about our shared history. As an ongoing project, we will continue to add to the images that have been uploaded there. We invite you to take a look, let us know if you can identify any of the photos, and come back regularly to see additions.

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Thanks for the mention, Mssr. Bates. We hope to have lots of these photos identified as we continue to upload many more!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 14, 2012 1:29 AM.

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