Arranging and Describing Photographs

Certificate Eligibility: 
0.75 CEU, 5 ARC
1 day
Max Attendees: 
Tactical and Strategic

Learn how to use archival principles to arrange and describe photographic materials and optimize physical and intellectual control. This one-day course addresses ways to build a viable plan to effectively process collections with photographs. We will review the impact of decisions in creating and managing photograph processing projects while considering priorities. Emphasis is placed on applying traditional concepts and practices specifically to photographic images in a variety of institutional settings. You’ll explore options for describing photographs employing visual literacy skills, standardized tools and commonly used data elements. Activities are designed to generate practical solutions to improve organization and access to collections with photographic materials.

Note: Although they may be mentioned, this course does NOT focus on photo format identification, preservation housing and storage strategies, data structure standards (like EAD or MARC), or cataloging and scanning platforms and applications.

Registrants of this course may purchase the Photographs: Archival Care and Management* from SAA's bookstore for a discounted rate of $30 (50% off the member price!). 

Learning Outcomes: 
Think about fundamental requirements of processing plans and guidelines to arrange and describe groups of photographs
Apply principles of arrangement to photographic materials
Use visual literacy skills to improve description
Identify and compare traditional tools and standards supporting description
Apply principles of hierarchical description to photographic materials
Include essential elements in descriptions
Classify photographs using index terms and authorized headings
Who Should Attend: 

Archivists who are new to photographs, photo specialists who are new to processing, new archives professionals and graduate students in archival programs who have little or no experience in the arrangement and description of photographs.

What You Should Already Know: 

Participants should have basic archival training and a working knowledge of the fundamental principles of processing, arrangement and description pertaining to text-based collections.

A&D Core Competency: 
1. Arrangement: Understand the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order to protect their context and facilitate access.
2. Description: Analyze and describe details about the attributes of a record or collection of records to facilitate identification, management, and understanding of the work.
3. Descriptive Standards: Apply rules and practices that codify the content of information used to represent archival materials in discovery tools according to published structural guidelines.
4. Management: Demonstrate ability to manage physical and intellectual control over archival materials.
5. Discovery: Create tools to facilitate access and disseminate descriptive records of archival materials.
6. Ethics: Convey transparency of actions taken during arrangement and description and respect privacy, confidentiality, and cultural sensitivity of archival materials.
7. Risk Management: Analyze threats and implement measures to minimize ethical and institutional risks.
Host a Course:

Interested in hosting a course? Visit our Host a Course page for information on what is required and how to apply!

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