Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re: I commend to your attention
From: "Aram Langhans" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 12:59:53 -0800

Some further thoughts on this.  What are most snapshots photographed with?
Color print film.  In 70-100 years what will those snapshots look like?  Are
they properly stored?  The old B&W snapshots mentioned by Walt and Sonny are
indeed near timeless glimpses at what we were as a people.  I regret that
perhaps we will have less of a treasure trove in the future.  And digital?
I have read many articles about people working in the national archives
having amassed billions and billions of bytes if information during the
early computer age and that a large portion of it is almost non-usable as
the technology for storing and archiving it is obsolete.  In 50 years will
there be anyone that can read a CD?  It is an impossible project to update
all archived information to current standards everytime a new current
standard becomes available.  Are we doomed to have the most documented and
least accessible past of any generation that has lived on this planet?
Egyptian hieroglyphics are still with us.  Talk about hard copies.


> Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 08:58:21 -0600
> From: "SonC (Sonny Carter)" <>
> Subject:
> Message-ID: <009701c17e66$725324a0$>
> References: <>
> From: "Walter S Delesandri" >
> > Then I thought about something I was told years ago, and I've passed
> on to friends
> > and students's VERY possible that individual
> 'snapshots', shot for
> > family/hobby/etc....will (in a coupla hundred years) be the MOST
> valuable document
> > of "how we lived/worked/shopped/dressed/etc"....these photos, to the
> historian,
> > will be worth many times the cultural/social value of the current
> "sensitive/socio/
> > political/artistic bullshit that passes as "serious" photography.
> >
> > Is it "art"?...I don't know or care....I just know that long after
> the victim/
> > artist/abused/suffering persons' MFA project is in the trash, these
> "honest"
> > photos will be around to tell our descendents "HOW WE LOOKED"...
> Walt,
> You make some good points.   I work in the Cammie G. Henry Research
> Center at NSU (former football foe of NT),   We own several thousand
> photographs from this area.  The collection is not nearly catalogued
> yet, but it includes pictures from the Farm Security Administration,
> and the Federal Writer's Project. What's more, we hold the prints and
> negs from two professional photographers and a large newspaper.
> We also own thousands of photographs from the area that people have
> entrusted to us from their family albums, estates, and other sources.
> Guess what?  The vast majority  of researcher's requests go right past
> the pro stuff, and want to see snaps of people, how the village looked
> in 1927, and stuff like that.
> In the 1930's one woman got all of her friends to bring their
> home-made quilts to her home.  They hung them on the clothesline and
> took pictures of them.   Simple idea, huh?  Dumb subject?  Those pics
> are on our high request list, and have been featured in three national
> publications in the last two years.
> You know, last week we had a guy visiting from Houston.  He's an
> engineer.  He was saying to me, "I really like this quaint town.  It
> is so beautiful and unhurried, and I like the brick streets and old
> buildings."  Then he said, "One problem I've noticed, is that you
> really need to four-lane some of these streets and put in some timed
> traffic signals so things will move a little better."
> (sigh. . .) some people just don't get what we're trying to do.
> Regards,
> Sonny

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