Once upon a time, Corel Corporation sold royalty-free photo collections on CDs at bargain-basement prices. You could buy 100 large images in the high-resolution Kodak Photo-CD format for $10. But, no more. I suppose Corel wasn't raking in enough money by selling them in bulk, so now the same photos can only be purchased on-line at prices of about $3 each!
Corel issued one CD of Victorian house photos. I purchased a copy long ago, little knowing that it would someday become a relic more suitable for the Antiques Roadshow than my CD rack. I have come to the conclusion that there is little reason for keeping these photos secret. The license that came with the CD is very broad, and effectively says that I can do whatever I want with the photos provided that I do not distribute them in a way that would "compete" with Corel. Fair enough. For the benefit of the lawyers, here is how I am not competing with Corel:
1) I do not consider posting images on an unadvertised, nonprofit web site to be equivalent to "distribution".
2) The images here are drastically reduced in size from the originals, from 2048 X 3072 to about 630 X 700.
3) Most of the images have been tightly cropped, eliminating almost everything except the house itself.
4) These images are in the JPEG format, a "lossy" format that slightly distorts the photo as opposed to the "lossless" Photo-CD format.
Some of the originals are shockingly mediocre, quality-wise. I have brightened all these images in Photoshop, and for a few I had to pull out the stops and readjust colors, constrast, and RGB levels just to bring them to the same quality I'd expect from a $1.99 throw-away cam. (For this, Corel wants three bucks?) I have also edited the collection somewhat, tossing out some photos that I didn't like and including a few that I have obtained elsewhere.
The house data on the Corel CD is littered with errors. Names are misspelled, incorrect dates are listed, houses are attributed to the wrong city, and so on. Sadly, the on-line distributors who sell Corel photos have reproduced these errors uncountable times, so now the misinformation about some of the houses is greater than the information. I have by *no means* checked all the Corel data, but if you see these images somewhere else and the information there differs from the information here — ten to one I'm right.
The Corel collection is not exactly balanced: all but three or four houses are located on either the west or east coasts. Nothing wrong with that, but by happy accident it means the Corel photos make a nice complement to mine, which are overwhelmingly from the midwest! I've included some very brief comments for the houses I know something about; beyond that the houses are just organized by location. Enjoy.
West Coast Victorians|
East Coast Victorians
Contact me by e-mail at: David Taylor
All photos in this web site (except as specifically designated) are copyright 1997 and 2001 by David Taylor. Permission to use them for one-time private or educational use is granted. All commercial use without permission is prohibited.
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