I clearly have the temperament for this type of work, not that this is any kind of a revelation. I’ve been working as a records manager or archivist for many years, and I’ve been reflecting lately about how personal photo organizing is so much like the work I do in my other job. Records are evidence of activities and transactions. Photo are the evidence in images of our experiences and a life lived. Records aid the institutional or business memory. Photos help us, personally, preserve our precious memories and our special stories.
The same problems I try to solve with my records management work are found with our personal photos too. Records collections and photo collections, especially digital, are growing ever larger. More and more storage space is constantly needed to house boxes of records or gigabytes of photos. Large collections of records and photos are both difficult and time-consuming to organize.
Personal photo organizing and records management both add value to important records by creating systemic controls that make it easier to preserve and locate what we need. So many of us are creating these vast virtual piles of photos on all of our devices and computer drives in addition to the real piles of printed photos we may have. Without a system to manage these piles and collections, our photo assets lose value. We may not even know what we have!
Photos and records will never organize themselves but certified photo organizers and records managers can help.