Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Reconfigured Archive – Entry 4

Part of the requirement for this assignment is to add twenty images to the thirty that were provided. Initially, I thought I would do this by looking in my collection or searching Google, selecting images and writing descriptions. However, when I was exploring the institutional archives online I realized it would be much more interesting to select existing archival photographs and their associated description. In this sense, the final fifty images would be composed of both real archival images and their accompanying descriptions and the provided images with my constructed descriptions.

In coming up with description for the thirty photographs provided, I found it necessary to try to determine the geographic location and date for each image. Fortunately, digital images carry their original date stamp. However this is set by the cameras internal clock, so if that happens to be wrong, your date will be wrong. If the image happened to be taken by a smartphone, the date is almost guaranteed to be correct, since time is automatically kept in check via satellites. Interestingly, discovering location information turned out to be heavily dependant on the level of text included within the image. Of course some images included recognizable geographic or architectural features, but most required an internet search of a street name or business, which could then be verified by cross referencing the image with Google Street View or other images online.

Determining the geographic location of this image is relatively easy since it is possible to cross reference the signage and store names online. 

Images with very little contextual information proved to be the most difficult (such as the image below). In this case—as would likely be the case for an archivist—the description was kept to a minimum.

Determining the exact location of this image is next to impossible, given that there are no specific signifiers to trace.
Next step: produce the documents that will house these descriptions.

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