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Post Info TOPIC: Tips for searching for photos at Ecpad?


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Tips for searching for photos at Ecpad?


I was trying to see what the French Defence Agency archive ECPAD has on WWI tanks but have been going in circles on their website.  I don't speak French and Google Translate doesn't seem to work well with their website's format.  The search field on the home page gives only a few returns which seems odd.  I have the distinct feeling that I am doing it wrong.

How is one supposed to search their historic photos and films online?

Thank you for any advice.




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Posts: 3882

Hello, Mark. I've only just noticed your post. I'm sorry I didn't notice it before, and that nobody came to your aid. I'll try to help. I've been a bit puzzled myself, and I do speak French, but it wasn't easy. Perhaps the following will make life easier.

First of all, there's this demonstration on Youtube:

It's in French, but, at least, a visual demonstration should give you some idea.

And here's a transcription in English. The two combined in your head should get you somewhere.

The platform allows you to consult more than one hundred and fifty thousand fixed or animated archive images, all extracted from the catalog of the armies and for some dating back to 1842. Everything is visible in the Collection menu.

There are three ways to access images:

- By theme
- By origin
- By timeline

Example: You are interested in the Battle of Chemin des Dames, a military operation on the Western Front during the First World War. Here is the path you can use. You select “Timeline – First World War – Military Operations”. The operations are divided by “fronts”. For each "front", the operations are classified chronologically.

It is possible to use the filters in the left column to see all that is available and specify your choices. For example, to view only videos or photos. For each product, you will systematically find a detailed sheet, the “notice”, with all the corresponding information, in particular the product reference, useful for all special and/or professional requests.

If you have a more specific search to formulate, the search engine is there for that. All you have to do is enter the keywords in the search bar and browse through the proposals. The search engine gives you access to the images corresponding to the keyword as well as to the products of the e-store having a link with the keyword. If you click on a specific image, you access a maximum of information on the image but you also have access to the report from which the image is taken. If the image is in the public domain, it is possible to download it by clicking on “Download file” (Télécharger le fichier).

By clicking on the name of the photographer in the documentary notice, you access his biography as well as all of his work. You also have access to all the referenced authors, directly from the home page in the “Resources” menu then “Auteur”.

In this same “Resources” menu are documentary files dealing with various subjects from the archives. New files are regularly put online, allowing you to immerse yourself in our archives and discover their history.

For any additional questions concerning navigation of the ImagesDéfense site, we invite you to consult our FAQ.

I'm going to have a practice. Good luck.


"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.

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