Archiving Photography

As I have recently finished processing the MountainTure Collection’s paper documents, I have moved on to processing photographs. The Collection has far fewer photographs than documents, which is a blessing. My primary objective is still foldering, with the added step of inserting photographs into protective slips.

I still have to watch out for duplicates, as well as “failed” photographs. I tossed one out because it was incredibly blurry, and contained the photographers finger in the upper left. I have a very bad habit of accidentally allowing my left index finger to drift into photographs, so I found this picture to be highly relatable.

My favorite part of working with photographs so far, is the vague familiarity of it. These developed, physical photographs, rather than digital. I can vaguely remember a time where you’d go inside a store to get photos developed instead of just printing them off your camera or uploading them to a computer.

The major challenge so far is in parsing the cursive, which appears more commonly on photograph tags than on document tags. Generally, I can read cursive. I learned it in school just before it left the curriculum, and am one of the few family members that can read my paternal grandmother’s handwritten letters. But there’s always that one word that I can’t make out. My go-to strategy so far has involved making a list of possible words, and looking through the photos to see if anything like that appears in the set.

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