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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Photographs > Organizing

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Chronicling America

Archives - Photographs - Organizing

Organizing Photograph Collections
Photographs may be organized chronologically, by name or by subject. If organizing by name, be sure to list surname and then first name. Women are often only identified by their husband's name—it is better to provide her first name and maiden name if possible. An index to the names and location of originals is very helpful to family members and can be created easily with current computer programs. For the advanced there are cataloging programs in which information can be stored with thumbnails of images. Organizing by year allows one to chronicle the history of a family and location. This can be very helpful in visually documenting a family tree. Subject matter may be used for simplicity of locating images of birds, animals, and locations, if many images exist.

Dont think that one person has to do all the work of identifying, organizing and storing the photographs: make it a family event to get together regularly and reminisce about people, places and events. The work will be part of the fun and will become part of a family legacy.

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