Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Museum Website!

Sorry, this is taking the place of your usually-scheduled fashion plate. There is a new museum (partial) collection out there, available for your perusal! In the main, it consists of scans of photographs, especially ones of the Adirondacks taken by Seneca Ray Stoddard around the end of the 19th century, street scenes in Glens Falls, NY, and portraits of citizens of that town.

Caroline Agnes Ranger, 1887; CHM 1996.58.23
And I know about it because my job for the past couple of months has been to clean up the files and get the database ready for uploading. It's been a wonderful change from office work, believe me. I've gotten to know a lot of Victorian Adirondack hotels, and done a ton of genealogical research for the people files.

The benefit of having me do it is that whenever a photo is of interest to people looking for historical fashion details, it's been tagged with "Clothing & Dress" in the search terms. Check it out! I've made sure that there are even Pinterest buttons on each file, to facilitate pinning.

Friends in Council, ca. 1899; CHM 1980.77.2
At the moment, there are no objects from the collection in the online database, but that will change. On Monday I began to photograph a few smaller objects that would fit in the picture-taking area, and I hope to be able to dress some of the wedding dresses on mannequins before I leave. The Chapman has a fantastic costume collection for such a small, upstate institution, and the world needs to see it.

As you read this, I will be on the bus to New York City for a big interview. I may or may not be panicking.

2 comments:

  1. This is a great resource, thank you for sharing. Did you hear that the Hotel Saranac was finally sold and will be restored? So exciting.
    I'm curious, what's your opinion of water marking photos? I'm trying to convince my historical society to do this with our photos that go online. With sites like Pinterest it's so easy for source information to get lost. I know there are pros and cons but I'm finding it rather frustrating as the only trustee with any museum experience...
    -Emily

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    1. I did not! That's wonderful.

      Watermarking photos is definitely for the best. You don't want to totally cover the subject - I've seen quite a few museums on PastPerfect Online (which lets you create the mark and then automatically puts it on everything for you, very nice) put the watermark right across the center, and I think that's a mistake as well. You want the picture to be shareable on Pinterest and Tumblr, so that people find out about what's in your collection, you just don't want the source to be too easily lost.

      Technically, somebody could crop out the watermark I went with, but source-losing is usually about moving quickly rather than a deliberate attempt to obscure, so I felt that putting it low and out of the way was a good decision..

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