University Archive

I found visiting the University Archives a really useful tool to help me appreciate what kinds of material can be archived. The materials I saw, presented clear indications of the history of our establishment, through different types of schools and training colleges, how the building looked, to what kind of uniforms they wore. When material is donated or given to an archive, it is very useful to have informative text such as the ones shown below, of old writings or knowledge from the person whom is giving them to the archive. It allows the archiver to ensure the material is in the most suitable place to get the most from the images.

Archival material also suggests the different practices that were used to once obtain information. Here we can see images from negatives that were scanned to be retouched, something that has gown in to a mass market now, was something that was used to save and simply correct colour balances on images. Also, having black and white images turned in to colour through art. Images were taken, and colour was added by hand, probably from a commissioned artist, to develop a realistic image of the university.

When photographs, such as the image of the male below with newspapers, aren’t labelled, they end up as ‘unknown photos’. We have no other information about the image, apart from what the frame itself tells us. There was a lot of random photographs in this box, which cant be linked to anything without having that context.

I never fully considered how quickly technology can be outdated until I saw the floppy disk, and realised I wouldn’t know anywhere that had the equipment to download one. The information on this floppy disk is now very hard to access, and we can’t see what is on the disk until we actually get it on to a computer, which makes it very time fulfilling and difficult to use. Where as the negatives, which were 10’s of years older than the floppy disk, can be seen straight away in a good condition. If you broke that floppy disk, you would have no idea what you have lost and there wouldnt be any retrieving it. But the negatives are easy to store, flat, in A4 folders, which means they arent easily damagible apart from things like water damage or loss.

 

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