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CyberArchive Author FAQs

What is the Photography Criticism CyberArchive?

The Photography Criticism CyberArchive is a subscription-based, password-protected online repository of serious writing about photography and related subjects: criticism, history, theory, profiles, interviews, credos, catalogue essays, reviews, and more. It includes entire books, sections of books, and individual essays by dozens of authors. It is the single largest Web resource ever created for such important material.

Does the Photography Criticism CyberArchive emphasize any particular time period in the medium's history in its choice of material?

No. This CyberArchive covers the entire span of the history of photography, from the 1830s on. Indeed, it includes texts from the prehistory of photography that we consider important for an understanding of the medium's evolution.

Are there types of writing that the Photography Criticism CyberArchive does not consider for inclusion?

At present, this CyberArchive does not include technical manuals or tutorial material on how to make photographs (excepting some nineteenth-century texts that include such information). It emphasizes substantial texts to which students, teachers, scholars, researchers and other professionals in such disciplines as the history of photography and art, media studies, visual culture, and related fields would most likely need to refer, so it includes few capsule book and exhibition reviews. Also, it presents primarily (but not exclusively) English-language texts. All of those policies remain permanently open to review, and we will consider seriously arguments and suggestions for alternative approaches from our authors and subscribers alike.

Who can become a Photography Criticism CyberArchive author?

If you have produced a body of writing about photography, or even a single substantial essay, interview, or profile relevant to that subject, then your work may well be eligible for inclusion in this Photography Criticism CyberArchive. If that prospect interests you, please contact us to pursue the matter.

Do you accept applications only from the authors themselves?

No. If you represent a living writer on photography, as agent for his or her work, or the estate of one from the past (for example, a now-dead photography historian), you can propose that individual's work to us for consideration.

How does work come under consideration for inclusion in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive?

As just mentioned, authors or their representatives can and do propose themselves to us. Also, we are constantly reviewing the literature, identifying notable contributors thereto, tracking them down, and inviting them to participate. Finally, our subscribers -- present Archive authors among them -- suggest material they'd like to have us include as well.

Who determines what work gets selected for inclusion in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive?

This CyberArchive is not peer-reviewed, nor does it base such decisions on any jurying system or committee negotiations. The CyberArchive's founder and executive director -- critic, historian, and theorist A. D. Coleman -- and its Managing Editor, Dr. Jasmine Gartner, make all final decisions on CyberArchive content.

Are there critical or theoretical tendencies that this Photography Criticism CyberArchive deliberately includes or excludes?

No. The goal of this CyberArchive is to encompass and represent effectively the entirety of the critical discourse on photography from the medium's introduction in 1839 onward. No school, movement, or critical theory is omitted purposefully. Any such gap most likely results from one of two causes: either we have not yet identified and contacted the representative authors, or, for various reasons, their material has proved unavailable for incorporation into the archive.

Why would material prove unavailable for inclusion in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive?

The copyright holders -- the authors, their estates, or their publishers -- may have other online plans for it, or may simply not want to include it in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive for reasons of their own. Of they may not find our standard fee acceptable.

Why do you charge for access to the Photography Criticism CyberArchive?

Putting this much material online, amplifying it to the extent we plan, and maintaining a site on this scale involves considerable time, money, and effort. In addition, we subsidize the keying-in of much material that does not already exist in digital form. Also, we believe that providers of online content -- in this case, the CyberArchive authors -- deserve to derive revenues from online use of their material, to enable them to produce more of their valuable work. We have as our goal a resource that exemplifies at once user-friendliness and respect for the intellectual property rights of content creators.

What are the basic terms for Photography Criticism CyberArchive authors?

Some basic information about our letter of agreement with authors:

  • We seek to license only online rights for inclusion of your texts in this Cyberarchive -- and on a non-exclusive basis. This means that you're free to publish your work anywhere else, in any other form.
  • You retain copyright and all other rights to your work. Your copyright notice will appear with every text you provide to the Cyberarchive.
  • We pay a modest yearly fee per word for the material we license. This fee is the same for all Cyberarchive authors. As the Cyberarchive's subscriber base expands, those fees will increase.
  • You will be paid this fee regardless of much (or how little) traffic your individual texts draw at the Cyberarchive. Fees are paid annually.
  • You agree to keep your material in the Cyberarchive for a minimum of five (5) years.

What are the benefits of becoming a Photography Criticism CyberArchive author?

Some benefits of inclusion in the Photography Criticism CyberArchive:

  • You will receive an annual fee for the inclusion of your writing in the Cyberarchive. This fee will increase automatically whenever you add material to your section of the CyberArchive.
  • You will receive an Author password and login ID giving you free access to the Cyberarchive for as long as your material remains therein. (Individual subscription rates are $120 for 1 year, $300 for three years.)
  • You can provide the content -- portrait, bio note, contact information, and bibliography of your writings -- for the Author's Page where your work will be featured in the CyberArchive. This Author's Page will be available even to non-subscribers.
  • We will link from your Author's Page, and from each of your texts, to your email address, to your own home page, or to any other online address you request.
  • You can sell copies of your books through the CyberArchive.
  • The CyberArchive will pass along to you all requests for reprints and other licensing rights to your work that result from the presence of your work in the CyberArchive.
  • Your information will be entered into the Photo Writers' Registry; click that link for details.

Some questions we'll ask at the outset:

  • What subject(s) does your writing on photography address?
  • How many texts on photography do you consider making available through the Cyberarchive?
  • How many words of text do you propose to place in the Cyberarchive?
  • Are your texts book-length works or individual essays?
  • Do your texts exist in the form of digital files, published books or periodical tearsheets, typescripts?
  • Are your texts previously published or unpublished?
  • Who owns and controls the online rights to your texts?

Whether or not you decide to work with us, if you do write about this medium you're eligible for the Photo Writers' Registry; click that link for details.

-- A. D. Coleman, Executive Director, and Jasmine Gartner, Ph.D., Managing Editor
Photography Criticism CyberArchive


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by A. D. Coleman/PCCA
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