CAPTURING THE PRESENT –
TO PRESERVE THE PAST
Creating Contemporary Photos to Document Your Town’s History

Presented by
Ka...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

• What, exactly, is “the past?”
Dictionary definitions:
time gone by
having ...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

• When you think of “historical photos,” what comes to mind?

2010
2013

VHS...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

• Do you find that most people, when they want historical
information about ...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

• Even with the proliferation of ready media 24/7, that does not
mean that p...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

• Our lives today will be just as important (and funny) to people
many years...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

This session will provide suggestions for:
1. Involving your society in capt...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

1. Involving your society in capturing the present in photos,
including recr...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

2.

Planning & prioritizing what you will document, including reviewing
what...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

3.

Managing your time and setting realistic goals:

a.
b.

Start s-l-o-w!
T...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

4. Organizing your contemporary photos and developing a
collection policy/ca...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos:

a. Do you have a numb...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos, con’t.:
d.

Break up t...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos, con’t.:
d.

e.
•

Try ...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool
1.
2.

Most PC’s use Mi...
Using Microsoft as a NoCost Picture Cataloging
Tool
c. Right-click on your selected photo
and then scroll down to click on...
Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool
Click on the Details tab.
Click to the right of Title.

VHS League of...
Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool

Scroll down to see more details about the
photo.

VHS League of Loca...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool
1.
2.

Most PC’s use Mi...
Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool
•
•

To search for photos you have cataloged, go into your Pictures l...
Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool
•
•
•

Type in your search terms (subjects, tags, folder name, filena...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet to Create a
Searchable and Sortable Catalog Inde...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums

November 1, 2013

23
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

The Falls General Store
o Cross Block built in 1892.
o Operated continuously...
The Falls
General Store
http://fallsstore.com



The new owners posted a website
of their progress, which included
histor...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Northfield’s Economy Store
o
o
o
o

Opened by Karl G. Grupe on Sept. 8, 1934...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Northfield’s Economy Store –
Shortly After Alice Died in 2010

VHS League of...
Northfield’s Economy
Storefront, 2013
Northfield News –
Before & After





The storefront next door used to be
the offi...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Northfield Savings Bank

o Founded in Northfield in 1867 by Norwich Universi...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Northfield Savings Bank – Over Time

Late 19th-Early 20th century

Circa 195...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Northfield Savings Bank 2013

VHS League of Local Historical Societies and M...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Landscape Change Program – University of Vermont
http://www.uvm.edu/landscap...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Your Own “Landscape Change” Program
o Review your historical photos for land...
Landscape Change in Northfield
Northfield photographer Reuben McIntosh’s
photograph of Northfield’s bridges and log dam, c...
Landscape Change in Northfield

N. Main Street home built before 1858; photo dated
1967. Most recent owner was Norwich Uni...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Soon to be Landscape Change – “Before”

o Northfield’s Water Street, 1927 an...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Soon to be Landscape Change – “Before”

VHS League of Local Historical Socie...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

More Landscape Change

o
o
o

Northfield’s North Main Street, which crosses ...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Other Contemporary Photos You May Want to Consider:
o Portraits (with permis...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Before posting any photos on social media where individuals can be
identifie...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

Other Sources for Adding to Your
Society’s General Collection
o
o
o
o
o

eBa...
Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past

To Sum Up:
o Think ahead – anticipate what you think will be of interest to ...
T H A N K Y O U F O R Y O U R AT T E N T I O N !
Kay C. Schlueter

Northfield Historical Society

485-6942

PO Box 422

nk...
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Capturing the present – to preserve the past

  1. 1. CAPTURING THE PRESENT – TO PRESERVE THE PAST Creating Contemporary Photos to Document Your Town’s History Presented by Kay C. Schlueter Lead Cataloger & Past Perfect Administrator Northfield Historical Society
  2. 2. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past • What, exactly, is “the past?” Dictionary definitions: time gone by having existed or taken place in a period before the present • When you think of “historical photos,” what comes to mind? VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 2
  3. 3. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past • When you think of “historical photos,” what comes to mind? 2010 2013 VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 3
  4. 4. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past • Do you find that most people, when they want historical information about your town, usually ask if you have any pictures/photos of what they are seeking? • Have you ever wished someone had taken a photo of persons, events, buildings, places from your town’s past? • Do you have time gaps in your society’s photo collection? If so, why? VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 4
  5. 5. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past • Even with the proliferation of ready media 24/7, that does not mean that people, events, buildings, and places in your town are being recorded, saved and cataloged for future generations. • By systematically and with a purpose of mind, it is important to take the pro-active initiative to document the who, what, where, when, why and how for those who are curious to see what town life was like 5, 25, 50, or 100 years hence. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 5
  6. 6. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past • Our lives today will be just as important (and funny) to people many years from now in the way we physically looked, dressed, played, and lived – just as we, today, view with humor, wonder and curiosity the lives of those who lived in our past. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 6
  7. 7. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past This session will provide suggestions for: 1. Involving your society in capturing the present in photos, including recruiting assistants, society members, and other volunteers 2. Planning & prioritizing what you will document, including reviewing what you already have and developing a collection policy for current photos 3. Managing your time and setting realistic goals 4. Organizing the photos you create 5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 7
  8. 8. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 1. Involving your society in capturing the present in photos, including recruiting assistants, society members, and other volunteers: a. Make the “pitch” – find out if there is interest. b. Survey your membership – anyone a photography buff or with expertise? c. Check with your local schools; there may be some students who would be interested in volunteering. d. Find out if there are photos already available, that can be donated or copied, especially for the time periods you are lacking. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 8
  9. 9. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 2. Planning & prioritizing what you will document, including reviewing what you already have and developing a collection policy for contemporary photos: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Procure a camera (and maybe a tripod) and become proficient. Procure a computer to edit & store the photos. Procure a scanner for photos on loan. Assign a society member to be the Photo Manager/Coordinator. Inventory your photo collection – any gaps? Based on your inventory, decide what you want to photograph first. Develop and stick to a schedule for taking photos of “static” subjects (such as buildings, streets, other landscape-type subjects). Assign volunteer photographers to attend events to take pictures, or, if the event already has a photographer, ask for select photos to be donated to the society. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 9
  10. 10. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 3. Managing your time and setting realistic goals: a. b. Start s-l-o-w! Take the time to learn the camera and its software – practice taking pictures – start with static subjects first, such as buildings, street scenes. Take the time to pick and learn photo editing software and/or a web-based photo service, such as Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/help/faq/) or Google+ (http://www.google.com/+/photos). If an event is upcoming and you are still learning the camera, get out there and shoot it anyway – bring along another who may be more knowledgeable than you to assist – each with your own camera, if possible. Determine prior to shooting what is important about your subject – even our camera-wielding ancestors couldn’t capture everything! However, that said, digital memory is cheap, so don’t be stingy if you do have the time to capture many photos. Don’t feel you have to save every photo you take – be discriminating in what you save. Make sure to set aside time for: selecting, cropping & cataloging your photos. c. d. e. f. g. h. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 10
  11. 11. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 4. Organizing your contemporary photos and developing a collection policy/cataloging manual: a. b. Create lists of subjects you want to photograph. Decide what digital format is to be used (tiff, jpg, both). http://www.rideau-info.com/photos/filetypes.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_file_formats c. d. Document how they will be cataloged/labeled & edited.* Determine where & how they will be stored (printed, as digital files only, or both; back-up storage, such as CD-ROMs, flash drives, and/or external hard drives, or “in the cloud”). e. Determine and document who will have access and how the photos will be used. f. “Many hands make light work,” but too many hands can result in confusion; assign select volunteers to be the photo catalogers for consistency in cataloging. *Most computers come with some sort of photo viewer/editor. There are also free & fee-based software packages and web-based services, such as Flickr, Tumblr to edit, store, share, and retrieve digital photos. Unfortunately this session cannot fully address this aspect of managing photos, but a Google search using the term “photo cataloging software” or similar search terms brings up a vast amount of information which is worth a look. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 11
  12. 12. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos: a. Do you have a numbering system already in place for your photos? b. If so, try to use the same system for continuity. c. If not, or the current system cannot be easily applied, create a new system – for example, use the year the photo was taken first, followed by consecutive numbers. Example: 2013.1 2013.2 2013.3, etc. d. Use the above numbering system for the file name on your computer, except use an underscore instead of a “dot” when renaming the files: 2013_1, 2013_2, etc. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 12
  13. 13. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos, con’t.: d. Break up the photo files into manageable folders on the computer. Examples: By catalog number: Photos 2013.1-2013.100 are in a computer file folder labeled “2013_1-100” By broad topic: Houses, Businesses, Schools, People, Streets, etc. d. Using your photo editing software, assign captions/titles and subject/tag terms (aka keywords) to each photo.* *Each photo editing/cataloging software will have its own set of instructions. Be sure to read and experiment with the software to learn how to best use it. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 13
  14. 14. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past 5. Cataloging and storing those newly-created photos, con’t.: d. e. • Try to be consistent in assigning subject/tag terms – keep a list of terms used which becomes your “authority” list of terms; this allows you to be consistent. Two free resources for consistent subject headings/search terms: Library of Congress Authority Database http://authorities.loc.gov/ • Getty Research Institute Art & Architecture Thesaurus http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/ VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 14
  15. 15. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool 1. 2. Most PC’s use Microsoft’s Windows operating system. To create a searchable catalog of the photos you shoot: Create a folder within the Pictures category for storing the photos. Transfer (load) your photos onto your computer into the above folder. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 15
  16. 16. Using Microsoft as a NoCost Picture Cataloging Tool c. Right-click on your selected photo and then scroll down to click on Properties . A pop-up window appear. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 16
  17. 17. Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool Click on the Details tab. Click to the right of Title. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums Text box opens – add a title. Do the same with Subject, Tags and Comments. November 1, 2013 17
  18. 18. Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool Scroll down to see more details about the photo. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums To change the filename, click on General, and then click in the text box and re-type the filename. November 1, 2013 18
  19. 19. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool 1. 2. Most PC’s use Microsoft’s Windows operating system. To create a searchable catalog of the photos you shoot: a. Create a folder within the Pictures category for storing the photos. b. Transfer (load) your photos onto your computer into the above folder. c. Open an individual photo using either the Windows Photo Viewer – or – Microsoft Office (which will open the photo file into a photo editor). d. Right-click on the photo; when a small window pops up, scroll down and select Properties. e. Click on the Details tab. f. Click to the right of Title (under Description). g. Text box opens – type in the title of your photo. h. Click (or tab down) to the right of Subject and add your subject term (remember to create an authority list for consistency). i. Click to the right of Tags and add your general terms – these can be general words that you think you might need to search by – hit the tab key to create several tag terms. j. Continue to tab down to fill in other information you feel is important, especially the Date of the photo if not already there. k. When finished, click on Apply. l. Need to re-edit? Click in the text box and add/delete/edit info. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 19
  20. 20. Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool • • To search for photos you have cataloged, go into your Pictures library on the computer. Locate the Search Pictures text box. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 20
  21. 21. Using Microsoft as a No-Cost Picture Cataloging Tool • • • Type in your search terms (subjects, tags, folder name, filename) you assigned to your photos. The pictures containing the term(s) will automatically appear. Notice that the number of pictures with that search term will also be displayed. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 21
  22. 22. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet to Create a Searchable and Sortable Catalog Index for Your Photos VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 22
  23. 23. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 23
  24. 24. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past The Falls General Store o Cross Block built in 1892. o Operated continuously as a store and for a time as a post office and dance/drama/recreation hall. o Closed in 2010, and then purchased by the current owners soon after. o Extensive structural renovations and remodeling have been ongoing for the past three years. o It was to re-open in May of 2013 but has been delayed until May of 2014. o Will continue as an upscale store and café, as well as a yoga studio in the former upstairs dance hall. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 24
  25. 25. The Falls General Store http://fallsstore.com  The new owners posted a website of their progress, which included history & photos.  The Society initiated contact with the new owners through their website to offer them additional historical information and share early photos they did not have. Research on past stores in the Falls (with photos) and an interview with the new owners was recently published in the Dog River Crier, the NHS’s newsletter.   VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums The new owners were willing to freely share additional photos of the renovation with our Society. November 1, 2013 25
  26. 26. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Northfield’s Economy Store o o o o Opened by Karl G. Grupe on Sept. 8, 1934. He owned and operated the store until his death in 1960. His wife, Dorothy, assisted until her death in 1968. From 1960 forward, owned and operated by Karl’s son, Karl A. & daughter-in-law, Alice. o Alice continued running the store after her husband died and until her death in 2010. o 76 year history of continuous operation by the same family. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 26
  27. 27. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Northfield’s Economy Store – Shortly After Alice Died in 2010 VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 27
  28. 28. Northfield’s Economy Storefront, 2013 Northfield News – Before & After   The storefront next door used to be the office of the Northfield News – photo recently provided by the former owner-publisher, dated 1983.  The News was sold in 2004 and offices moved; the building was sold in 2010.  VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums We had no photos of the Economy Store’s front before it closed, so we took this photo in 2013 which shows the sign. The former News building was totally gutted and remodeled into Northfield’s very own Irish pub, The Knotty Shamrock, which opened in 2011. November 1, 2013 28
  29. 29. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Northfield Savings Bank o Founded in Northfield in 1867 by Norwich University professor and one-time president, Rev. Edward Bourns. o Headquarters has always been in Northfield. o In October 2013, plans were announced to move its headquarters to Berlin, with occupancy scheduled for early 2015. o The current home will be renovated and will provide full banking services. o The move was cited as necessary due to lack of adequate space and parking. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 29
  30. 30. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Northfield Savings Bank – Over Time Late 19th-Early 20th century Circa 1950’s 1960’s-1970’s 1970’s-1980’s VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 30
  31. 31. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Northfield Savings Bank 2013 VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 31
  32. 32. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Landscape Change Program – University of Vermont http://www.uvm.edu/landscape/ “The Landscape Change Program, at the University of Vermont, is a virtual collection of images that documents 200 years of Vermont’s changing face. We have thousands of views of Vermont as it was and as it is, online and free to everyone.” o o o o o It’s FREE! It’s searchable. You can submit photos using their posted criteria. Provides a good example of photo cataloging technique By looking at what you already have in your society’s photo collection, you can update those views today, for viewing by future generations VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 32
  33. 33. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Your Own “Landscape Change” Program o Review your historical photos for landscape/street scenes. o Decide which scenes would benefit from an updated photo. o Try to shoot the new photos from the same angle, so any changes can be easily identified & appreciated. o Catalog and/or house the early and contemporary photos together, if possible. o Be “anticipatory,” meaning if you know of a change that is going to take place, try to capture the before & after (especially the before). VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 33
  34. 34. Landscape Change in Northfield Northfield photographer Reuben McIntosh’s photograph of Northfield’s bridges and log dam, circa after 1860. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums Same view taken Oct. 31, 2013 November 1, 2013 34
  35. 35. Landscape Change in Northfield N. Main Street home built before 1858; photo dated 1967. Most recent owner was Norwich University. The house was dismantled in 2005 to build a… VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums … parking lot in 2013, behind the berm the house used to sit on. November 1, 2013 35
  36. 36. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Soon to be Landscape Change – “Before” o Northfield’s Water Street, 1927 and 2013. o Flooded by Irene, 2011 (also flooded in 1927) – how the street looks in 2013. o Some houses historic – built by Northfield native Christopher Dole in the mid-19th century. o Due to their location on the Dog River floodplain, no longer habitable and will be razed, disappearing forever. o Land will be turned into a recreation area. o Requesting 2011 flood photos from residents would add to the historical value of these recent shots. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 36
  37. 37. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Soon to be Landscape Change – “Before” VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 37
  38. 38. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past More Landscape Change o o o Northfield’s North Main Street, which crosses the Dog River. Cetrangelo’s Granite Finishing Shed – established 1955 (photo circa 1970’s). Closed in the late 1980’s or 1990’s. (Further research in the Northfield News would help pinpoint the exact date.) o Complex torn down and 3 acre lot empty for a number of years – privately owned. o Dollar General now there, opened in 2013. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 38
  39. 39. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Other Contemporary Photos You May Want to Consider: o Portraits (with permission), especially if doing oral histories. o Building construction and/or renovations (if private homes, obtain permission) . o Interiors. o Special events, such as fairs, farmers’ markets, town celebrations, library events, yard sales, fund-raising bazaars, etc. o Groups of people (with their permission, of course), such as the selectboard, town employees, business owners, local sports teams, social clubs, volunteer organizations. o Farms, fields, hills and dales, waterways, bridges, walking trails, even the recycling center! o Your own historical society membership, officers, managing board. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 39
  40. 40. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Before posting any photos on social media where individuals can be identified – especially children – GET PERMISSION! VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 40
  41. 41. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past Other Sources for Adding to Your Society’s General Collection o o o o o eBay and other (reputable) antique/collectible Internet sites. Yard/Garage/Tag sales. Auctions. Postcard collections & fairs. Encouraging donations/loans from town residents and your own society membership. o Local newspapers, especially for photographs. o Used book shops, antique shops, and rare/collectible book fairs. o Getting the word out that your society is interested in viewing items that might otherwise be discarded. VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 41
  42. 42. Capturing the Present – To Preserve the Past To Sum Up: o Think ahead – anticipate what you think will be of interest to future generations and history researchers. o What are people asking for now? That could be a good indicator of what future interest might be. o Photos do not have to be “Vermont Life” quality! However, do take care to take the best shots you can when time allows. o Get the word out! Let your residents and society members know you are on the prowl for old and new photos, particularly if it helps fill the gap in your collection for years that are lacking. o Even “artsy” shots are of interest. Not all photos have to be “practical.” o Are there contemporary postcards of your town available? Buy them and add to your collection. o Carry your camera! You just never know when a really good opportunity to capture the present to preserve the past will pop up. o Organize and catalog your new photos for ease of finding and using. Unorganized photos, like that old drawer full of family snapshots, is of little use to anyone if you can’t find what you are looking for! VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museums November 1, 2013 42
  43. 43. T H A N K Y O U F O R Y O U R AT T E N T I O N ! Kay C. Schlueter Northfield Historical Society 485-6942 PO Box 422 nkcs802@hotmail.com 75 S. Main St. Northfield, VT 05663 485-4792 nhscurator@gmail.com

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