Monday, November 25, 2013

Interested in Photo Archives? You Should Be Reading This

The Society of American Archivists has several subgroups that focus on archiving particular types of materials.  One of the these is the Visual Materials Section, which focuses on, well, visual materials like photographs and other images.  Their most recent newsletter, Views, has a few articles of no interest whatsoever to genealogists, relating mostly to academic conferencing, and several articles that are very interesting to anyone interested in visual materials.

First, a quote I liked: "...every two minutes, the same number of photographs are made in the world today as was made during the entire nineteenth century."  Stephen Fletcher, in a review of a symposium called Magnum Photos into the Digital Age.  Imagine!

Second, the newsletter has a listing of new books and exhibits on photography, photographers and photographs.  I wish Twentieth-Century Color Photographs: Identification and Care by Sylvie Penishon wasn't $65. (And why aren't academic publishers making ebooks?  Seems like scholars, of all people, would be sympathetic to making books cheaper and easier to store!)

And third and best of all, the newsletter includes a listing of new digital archive projects.  For example, The American Museum of Natural History Research Library Digital Special Collections has an image website that includes, among other things, "the Julian Dimock Collection which documents moments in the daily lives of African Americans in South Carolina, new immigrants at Ellis Island, and the Seminole
Indians of Florida at the turn of the last century; and the Lumholtz Collection which documents four expeditions led by ethnographer Carl S. Lumholtz to northwestern Mexico between 1890 and 1898,
with important portraits of the indigenous peoples of Mexico."  Check it out at