“The project known as vanadpildid.net, a web environment for old photos, is a unique initiative throughout Estonia, valuing community spirit, collaborative efforts, local identity, and voluntary work. This project is created through the sharing and commenting on old photos.” Source: vanadpildid.net
The heart of the web project was my photo collection, which I compiled over the years from my hometown Koeru parish. Although searching for and acquiring photos is an exciting adrenaline source, it quickly fades after adding them to the album, replaced by emptiness. I wanted to share the collected material and emotions, but there was no one to share them with. The outlet for this feeling of emptiness became a web environment focusing on old photos.
In creating the environment, I took the opportunity to partially fund it with project funds, but I have borne the subsequent maintenance and development costs myself, and they have been significant. This is something to consider! In some cases, donations have been helpful, and I am very grateful to them, but this assistance has by no means covered the entire cost side! With costs in mind, I have tried to find a new and caring owner for the environment.
Today, vanadpildid.net remains a unique platform with over 3600 free photos. Pictures can be viewed, shared, and commented on. Recently, new photos have been added sparingly, and behind this is the pain and charm of working alone. When the focus of life changes, a previously significant project may fade into the background. This is exactly what happened with the vanadpildid.net environment.
However, through vanadpildid.net, many published photos have found their way into various photo projects. They have been published in manor books, farm books, and most recently in a book documenting the history of the Elva orphanage. Could this have happened, or how much poorer would our sense of history be if these photos were stored away in a photo album, even a proper one?
Recently, I heard the news that, bit by bit, probably the most comprehensive collection of elementary school photos in Estonia was sold off. It’s a pity because these photos are now lost to the public, at least for a while. At the same time, the photos in my collection, those that are featured on the vanadpildid.net platform, are still available to enthusiasts regardless of their physical location.