January 14, 2008

How to Organize Photos: Warning! This Advice May Shock You

Contrary to popular belief,

archivists do not keep everything

Whaaat? An archivist?

Throwing things out?!


Ya heard me.

I spent more time learning the art of archival appraisal than any other skill while in grad school. And by appraisal, I mean deciding what to keep and what to toss -- based on what items have enduring value.

But aren't archivists the keepers of our shared history?

Yes, but...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of How to Organize Photos: Warning! This Advice May Shock You
That link will take you to the rest of this article at the NEW Practical Archivist website. (I can't bring myself to delete this old Blogspot one. Sentimental fool that I am.)


Erin said...

Thanks for this. I'm a student archivist mired in the depths of a crazy appraisal course. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on it and even weeded my own photo collection last weekend in honor of accepting the fact that, in all honesty, you just can't keep, and dont need, to keep it all.

Anonymous said...

When in doubt, throw it out.. I love that one! On my professional archive course we had the simple motto "appraise and destroy."

Alan A

Sally J. said...

Archives students, yay!

@Erin - Good work. Keep the keepers and lose the dreck.

@Alan - I'll have to add "Appraise and Destroy" to my lectures. Wonder if I can fake a Darth Vader voice?

Of course, you don't really have to destroy anything. There are plenty of options for items you don't want to keep yourself. I'm going to have an article about that soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sally, I agree that at least paper photographs can pose some difficulties, space-wise.

However, we must keep in mind that future generations will make use of pictures in ways we can hardly imagine today. This might turn many worthless snapshots into valuable data - if they survive.

I've blogged a little about this here

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