Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Archives

It is now nearly ten years since I stopped shooting film. My archive of digital images has been sorted and is now stored on multiple hard drives in different locations.  I described the process Here


What this has left me with is my archive of film and prints. These are the commissioned images I shot for my business over twenty years, images taken for 'stock library' submission, and personal family shots. In addition I have become by default the family archivist so I have images from both sides of my family and my wife's family going back over 100 years  As a very rough estimate I have between 400,000 and 500,000 images. There are B&W negatives, colour negatives and colour transparencies. There are also prints. Lots of the prints are from negatives that I still have, but many are images I made for companies that I worked for in the past, or are part of the family archive and so are unique. 
There is also great mix of formats. I mainly shot 35mm, 6x6 cm and 5"x4" but mixed in are panoramic shots, Half plate, 6x4.5, 6x7 and 6x9 on roll film, 10"x8", 110, 126, APS also polaroid images, a roll of cine film and some video.


The storage of all these images has become a major problem, They are stored in folders and many archive boxes, plus I have an edited set of transparencies in suspension files in three filing cabinet drawers. 


I have started to edit down what I keep. The easy boxes were the 'overs' from shoots. A set was delivered to the client and in most cases a negative also exists. Two archive boxes were reduced to one 10"x8" paper box everything else was shredded. The next step will be to start on the boxes of personal images and although most are 'seconds' it is still hard to destroy them.


I guess I now know what I am doing this winter.

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