Goodbye Free Press Collection on Flickr

March 29th, 2020 will be the last time you can access the over 14,000 uncataloged photographs from the Chattanooga History Center’s half of the Free Press Collection of negatives on Picnooga’s Flickr account.

A decade or more ago, the negatives were headed to the dumpster but were literally picked from the trash and saved by the Chattanooga Regional History Museum and the Chattanooga Public Library. The collection was split.

Our decision to remove the images from Flickr is elective, although in 2018 when UTC Special Collections and the Chattanooga Public Library expected to accept the collection from the now-defunct CHC, it was strongly suggested that we drop any online access to the collection. At that time there was no deed of gift on file transferring the rights to the former History Museum or the History Center. Other than cutting all forward ties with sharing the CHC’s collection online, I have not heard from UTC or the Public Library since on this matter.

The images were taken by staff photographers for publication in the Chattanooga Free Press and range in date from the late-1940s to the mid-1960s. Close to 30,000 of 100,000+ negatives were scanned by the CHC. Ultimately we uploaded about half of the images. Many were damaged due to a chemical breakdown of the negative known as vinegar syndrome, caused by improper storage and age. The overall collection have been viewed over seven million times according to Flickr’s analytics.

We hoped you enjoyed the nostalgic look at Chattanooga’s not-as-distant past. The images can be view in dated folders at this link until the end of this month.

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Lauri Martin

I loved these images. I found pictures of both my aunts and my sister. So sad to see them go.

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