Annotations in SHIP image viewer
Add your memories to our historical pictures using annotations
Fri, 17/11/2023 - 08:44

Recent upgrades to our SHIP database have enabled users to add annotations to the historical photographs in our collections. Help us recreate the stories behind these images by adding your recollections!

The Space Heritage Image Project (SHIP) database currently gives access to around 5000 historical images taken by the ESRO, ELDO and ESA photographers from 1964 to 1976. As digitisation work continues we are adding new content, opening a new year approximately every three months. From the very beginning, the SHIP project was conceived as a community initiative: facilitating online access to this incredible resource for both ESA colleagues and the outside world and allowing interaction with users who can add annotations to the images and documents.

Recent upgrades to the system have made this annotation functionality available to all logged in users (and to all ESA internal users), meaning that you can now help us to fill in the gaps in the information on our photographic collections.

Where do we particularly need your help? Often, the handwritten descriptions made by the photographers in the registries were very short, hard to read, or, even worse, missing altogether. The consequence of this is that many of the descriptions for photographs are incomplete and we don’t have information on who is who in group photos or reliable information for technical subjects. If you recognise friends or colleagues from an event, or remember details of the testing of a particular satellite, you can make your contribution by creating an annotation and adding in any missing details. Annotations can include text, links, images and multimedia, so you can also point to external sources of information.

Please note that annotations will remain anonymous unless you choose to add your name to them.

To access the annotation menu, open the relevant photo in the image viewer screen and click on the ‘toggle annotations’ speech bubble to the top left. Once you have finished, don’t forget to save your annotation, which will then be sent to the Archives team for approval.

You can modify saved annotations only during your active web session in SHIP. The next time you log in to SHIP you receive a notification confirming how many annotations you have awaiting approval.

Find out more about annotations in this quick video guide.

More information

More guidance on how to search and credit material and on the features of the SHIP database.