Our podcast this week (back from a short hiatus) covers a project that has been ongoing with the collection the past month or so. We are working on creating subcollections to make research of the collection easier for folks who will visit us in the future. Deciding what deserves a subcollection requires thought and discussion.
We recently decided to create a “school photographs” subcollection – organizing the photographs by class year.
Here are some examples of the “forensic history” photographs: these photos come to the collection with little or no information other that what we can see. We will eventually tie together photographs, town records, and other information to “fill in the blanks”.
By examining the backgrounds we determined that the following two photos that they originated at the original Nason Street School which existed from 1892 to 1916.
The stairway in the following photo means that it was at the Bancroft Street School (which later became the Coolidge School). We’ll eventually be able to use dress styles to pin the age to a decade or so.
The entryway in the following photograph pins this to the Main Street School (1902-1952).
This photograph was also taken at the Main Street School, but was harder to identify. We used the patterns of the brick and window stones to determine it was Main Street. The photograph itself contained a two additional clues on the back that will be useful in the future for further identification: it was a 2nd grade portrait and the teacher was Miss Garvey. But that’s all we know right now.
As we continue to catalog and cross-reference photographs and other documents, this sub-collection will provide relatively easy access to relevant photographs to anyone who wants to see school-age photos of a person given their birth date or graduation year.