Thu, 10/01/2009 - 12:22
World Press Photo is launching a major new photojournalism resource by publishing its entire contest archive online today. The website includes prizewinners going all the way back to the foundation of the World Press Photo contest in 1955 and offers a variety of search options. It is intended as a tool for media historians and students interested in the history of photography, and as a facility for the photojournalist community, showing trends in the profession and developments in countries around the world.
The contest archive can be accessed on the World Press Photo website and at: www.archive.worldpressphoto.org
Michiel Munneke, managing director of World Press Photo said, "Our aim is to provide a showcase that will promote top photography and its authors. Until now, the only way to view past winners has been in the contest yearbooks, but these do not cover the entire period and most of them are out of print."
The archive website
The World Press Photo contest has a history that goes back more than half a century and the winning photos make a unique collection that is not only a record of world events, but also of developments in photojournalism. The archive has been established to share this record with the profession.
The range of photos is enormous. Over the decades, juries have awarded some 2,100 prizes. At present, the archive includes just under 10,000 photographs, by 1,372 photographers of 79 nationalities. The new archive website has been designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Winners are arranged in chronological order, year by year. It is up to the user to decide whether they would prefer an overview for a particular year or a breakdown according to the category in which a prize-winning photo was registered. In addition, images may be accessed through an alphabetical listing of photographers' names or through further search options, such as photographer's nationality, photo agency, publication that commissioned the work, or specific awards.
Photos in the archive are further classified into 11 themed categories. Contest categories have changed over the years. Back in 1955, there were just three groupings: News, Sport and Stories. Currently, the contest itself is arranged into ten categories. Along the way, such classifications as Happy News and Personality have arisen and disappeared.
At one time, the phenomenon of Color Picture Stories was so novel as to warrant its own section. The archive website outlines these developments and also offers further information on the contest, such as details of contest entry statistics, as well as list of jury members for each year.
Work in progress
The contest archive project has taken two years of preparation, but it is still far from complete. Munneke said, "To maximize the potential of the archive, however, we need help. There are still gaps to be filled - pictures missing and, in isolated cases, even the photographer's name unrecorded. We are therefore also appealing to the photography community to contribute additional information, which we can then use in regular updates. The archive is intended as a research resource rather than a source of photos, but we will, of course, be happy to mediate and put anyone interested in using the pictures in contact with the photographers or their representatives."
The World Press Photo contest archive team can be contacted for queries and feedback by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The contest archive project has been made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation and the VSB Foundation.
World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT.
World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information. The activities include organizing annual photojournalism and multimedia contests and global exhibition tours. The Academy programs strive to stimulate high-quality visual journalism through educational programs, grants and by creating greater visibility through a variety of publications. World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was founded in 1955.
The press department at World Press Photo, or tel. +31(0)20 676 6096.