October 27, 2021

Archives: Georgia State University Preparing a Home For 10 Million Photographs

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The visual history of Atlanta is packed into boxes and stored in three different locations at Georgia State University, an archive of 10 million photographs, slides, negatives, videotape and movie film.

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Tens of thousands images have been digitized and placed online. But millions exist only in some physical form, as a negative image on a strip of mutable plastic, or as a print, on porous paper, coated with a vulnerable emulsion.

Time, humidity and occasional carelessness are conspiring against this cache of knowledge. The archive “was forgotten about by everyone else in the university,” said Christina Zamon, who came to Georgia State in 2016. “But I’m not going to let us forget about it.”

As she spoke Zamon, head of special collections and archives, stood in a 2,000-square-foot underground room below a parking deck, where the bulk of the images are stored.

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A $48,691 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will help get the project started, though it will cost an estimated $1-$1.5 million to get it totally outfitted.

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Zamon hopes to secure additional funding, from the NEH and private supporters, to support this transition. The library also seeks followers who will “adopt” an imperiled negative, to cover the cost of restoration.

The university’s archive encompasses other collections of note: photos and films covering the history of the labor movement; photos from the alternative newspapers the Great Speckled Bird and Creative Loafing documenting the political and cultural ferment of the 1960s and ‘70s; photos (and recordings and personal papers) from Savannah native Johnny Mercer; the work of commercial photographers such as the Lane Brothers; and a unique collection from amateur photographer David Lennox, showing Atlanta during the late 1930s.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1590 words)

Direct to Project/Exhibtion Web Site (via GSU Library)

See Also: Georgia State University Digital Collections

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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