This photo is of nan and granddad Dunbar in 1959, 40 years after yesterday’s photo. Granddad was 81 here. It was on a picnic with aunty Miri and uncle Ron – but that’s all I know.
I knew my nan well as she didn’t die until 1981 (she was much younger than granddad: he was born in 1878 and she in 1893). In tomorrow’s photo you will see me and granddad together. It seems strange to me that I have a direct tangible link to someone born in 1878…
My approach to this project
For just over a week I’ve been posting digitised versions of photos taken from my late parent’s family albums. I explained a little about my intention in the first post (here). Dad’s funeral is tomorrow and I don’t want to think about that, so I’ve been considering various issues to do with this project.
The process of reviewing each analogue image will enable me to look again at the photos and enable me to re-engage with some of the ways they saw their worlds. It will offer viewers a social history about their lives and contexts. But there are some issues that need recognising:
- By taking the images out of the albums and digitising them I will lose that originality and order. The images won’t have mum’s handwriting underneath or have been mounted by her and so those links will be lost; and so a link with her and the original photos will have been erased in this process.
- Moreover the way I choose to process the images – drawing features out, through burning and dodging for example – will all create new different emphasis from those original items.
- Lastly the order I choose to share and show the photos, along with the online context of blog and website, will again offer the viewer a different experience than that of my own experience of seeing them in their physical albums.
- But whereas these images would only previously be seen by me or people who visit, they will be available to anyone online to see, at any time, and that seems a good thing.
So there, that’s the issues I’ve identified made obvious. Can you see any that I might have missed?
For now I will just keep on digitizing and posting, and then at some point in the future consider how best to curate and show the images and in what context (eg historical, familial etc.) on a dedicated website.