Preserving my research-photo collection

Research Cooperative
11/05/12 12:33:09PM

Every time I load another batch of digital colour photos into my iPhoto libraries, I wonder what eventually will happen to my huge archive of scanned slides and original digital images.

In theory, others could track down photo sources through my handwritten diaries, in small pocket notebooks, but I doubt that will ever happen.

What I should be doing is selecting at least a 'top ten' photos every year, and making large prints on archival quality paper, with captions written on the back.

Or I could be selecting a 'top one hundred' with captions and putting them into print-on-demand albums that might eventually be stored online as PDFs in a permanent academic repository, and as physical copies in more than one location.

It is an interesting time, to be on the boundary between the print-only and digital worlds.

Maybe we can see the past and the future at the same time, just now.

Or maybe we are blind to the present, and are looking at the past and future through fog.

In any case, I hope that some of my photos do survive, somehow, into the long-term future.



Can others in this group tell us about good ways to prepare archival prints, and print-on-demand photo albums?


Stone axe and mobile phone (author, Auckland, 2012)

Richard G. Dudley
12/05/12 01:17:20AM @richard-g-dudley:

An interesting question with lots of answers. With the millions of images being created just finding what you need is difficult - even within ones own albums!. And of course the value of these images varies with the subject. But digital images are easier to store, track and use, than are printed images.

Digital images typically have two (or three) data portions as a part of the image file: the: EXIF data and the IPTC information and more recently XMP data can also be embedded in an image file.

EXIF data includes information about the camera time and date and location if that was added. This info is on the most common, but not all, image file formats.

IPTC data can include user added information in a somewhat standardized format. This can include captions, location descriptions, etc.

XMP can make use of the above and additional information.

Most current image storage and processing software will make use of this info and will allow it to be edited.

So making full use of those repositories of info is a good first step for tagging images with information .

But how to make this information available to others is a different question.

And what will be the availability of this digital information 10, 20 50 or 100 years in the future?