Ron Ziel collection

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Ron Ziel collection

Postby robertwa » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:24 pm

According to some items up for bid on eBay, Ron Ziel sold his collection of LIRR photos. Anyone know to whom he sold it to? RMLI?

Here's one of the items http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=35975&item=6108434323#ebayphotohosting
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Postby Dave Keller » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:41 pm

Ron personally told me he was negotiating with the Queensborough Public Library's Long Island Room for the purchase of his entire collection: negatives and prints.

He said he was offering his photos for sale up to the day the library took possession of the items. Once they took possession, their price per print would be substantially higher than his price.

They were to acquire the collection in parts as they paid him per part.

He said they weren't too interested in the prints, just the negatives but he told them it was the whole thing or no deal (so he told me.)

Now, I see someone selling the prints on e-bay, with a seller's location of Utah.

Don't have a clue what the true story is. Perhaps may never know.

Anyone know if the Queensborough Library ever got the negatives or perhaps the deal has fallen through?

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Postby belpaire » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:07 pm

Ron is selling the collection in two parts. I believe the library was getting the fisrt half in September.

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Postby jayrmli » Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:45 pm

Ron Ziel has sold his collection to the Queensborough Public Library. The transfer has begun to take place already, but Ron still has control over some of his collection. He's wrapping up the last of his shows, and he's also taking orders from his house. He plans to move to Arizona at the end of the year.

Right now, I know he sells prints for $6.00 each. Once Queensborough has the collection, you can order from them but the cost is $10.00 each.

One of Ron's last shows will be at the Riverhead Railroad Festival on August 28th and 29th. If you're looking to get some pictures from Ron, this may be your last chance.

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Postby robertwa » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:45 am

I have bought many of Ron's prints over the years and I have a lot of them on my www.lirrhistory.com website - always giving credit to him.

I hope the Queensboro Public Library doesn't force me to take them down, or perhaps pay a royalty!

Ron never seemed to mind when I told him several times that I did have some of his pictures on my website and he always said that once he gets a computer (is he still using that manual typrewriter?) he would take a look - but I never heard back from him.
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Postby Dave Keller » Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:33 am

He still uses his typewriter.

He told me he has no need at this point for a computer.

I'm curious, too, how the Queensborough Library will handle photo crediting on web pages, in books, etc., etc.

If one purchased photos in the past from one source and permission was given to post and/or publish photos and then the original collection changes hands, is publication, etc. still allowed based upon the prior permission?

Anyone with any knowledge of copyright laws out there? (Ron's photos always said "copyright pending" but he never copyrighted his photos per his own admission.)

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Postby Richard Glueck » Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:49 pm

Ron has taken a great deal of crap over the years for some of his schemes, efforts, and dreams. I am really pleased to see that he has chosen to leave this material for the public it was originally collected to serve. If he makes a substantial profit off it, that too is okay by me. He has done more than perhaps any othersingle individual to promote the LIRR's history and save it's artifacts.
Arizona is a great place, lots of steam locos, beautiful climate, and a fine place to retire.
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Postby jayrmli » Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:41 pm

As for the copyrights, I believe if you received permission from an author to use a photo, and the collection is sold, your permission is still good under the agreement you originally had.

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Ron Ziel Collection

Postby BMT » Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:01 am

Bob, I agree with Jay. If you had an agreement with Ziel prior to his deal with the Queensborough Library then they have no legal grounds to stop you from displaying those particular images you acquired from him.

Funny thing is: I would have thought that Ron would've broken up his collection whereas images of LIRR in Brooklyn would have been donated to the Brooklyn Historical Society; shots of LIRR in Queens to the QPL; shots in Nassau and/or Suffolk Counties to the LI Historical Society. But at least his collection will be preserved for future generations.

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Postby Dave Keller » Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:38 pm

BMT:

As to the 2nd part of your post: I agree and disagree at the same time . . .

First, as a serious collector of 40 years, I can attest that it's very, very difficult for any serious collector to acquire and put together a comprehensive collection of something, acquiring one here and two there, until one has amassed a major collection, only to sell it off piece-meal when you feel your time is through as a serious collector.

It goes against all the grain in your body to break up what it's taken you all those years to assemble!

Second, DO NOT ASSUME that once a collection is left to an organization such as a library, etc. that the collection will be:

1. Safe for posterity
2. Available to interested parties.

Museums and libraries have been famous over the years for selling off and/or trading donated items that were bequeathed to those organizations in good faith by the collector. For example, if they have a collection of LIRR glass plate negatives from the 1880s and have the opportunity to trade them for some Tiffany lampshades, etc., the glass plates go bye-bye.

It's no secret.

Look at what the libraries, etc. charge an intrested person for a blow-up of one of their donated negatives. I believe the Brooklyn Public Library, which has all of George Brainerd's 1870s-era negatives charges $20.00 a hit for a photo. And the darkroom "tech" doesn't care too much about his/her printing quality either.

Then there's the Chaney LIRR collection at the Smithsonian. See how available photos are from that collection and the price.

A serious collector is torn between keeping the collection together (which limits a buyer for the collection as it becomes huge) and making some easy money from it (as he/she has invested LOTS of money into it over the years and would like something back.) by selling it piece-meal on e-bay, etc.

It's a hard, gut-wrenching choice.

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