Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Fronts and Backs
Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! I come to you with an exciting piece of news- I have completed processing my manuscript collection and it is has joined the ranks of other processed collections in the depths of Special Collections! As you might guess, I felt an emmense sense of accomplishment as I completed my finding aid and prepared it for Karen to review. After Karen approved the manner in which I had processed the collection, I put descriptive labels on the manuscript collection boxes and headed back to the temperature controlled shelving area. As I put MS-118 Wikoff on the shelf, I felt like an investigator on Cold Case putting an long unsolved case to rest (forgive the crime-show reference :) ).
As I reflect on the experience of processing MS-118 Wikoff, I'm really thankful for the opportunity to thoroughly get to know the collection before processing its contents. I was able to acquaint myself with the memories of so many alumni, and I hope that my efforts will also allow patrons in the future to acquaint themselves with these memories.
Now that I have completed processing MS-118 Wikoff, I have moved on to another project concerning the Library's "Gett Digital" Collection. Within the collection's historic photographs, there are a number of Gettysburg College pictures taken by William H. Tipton. Gettysburg's long-standing, go-to photographer for quite some time, Tipton took many of the photos that we have of Gettysburg College students and professors. Over the years, the name and location of Tipton's photo studio changed a number of times.
My principle task is to go through the photographs taken by William Tipton within the Gett Digital Collection in order to discover the name of the photo studio at the time the picture was taken. Currently, photographs taken by Tipton in the Gett Digital Collection list the creator as "William H. Tipton." We would like to modify this section to contain the name of the photo studio instead.
This search has led me to looking up a number of student senior pictures dating back to the early 1870s. In an odd way, I feel a connection or camaraderie with these students. Although they graduated so long ago, these photos freeze them at the approximate point in their lives that I am living right now. I, too am on the cusp of graduating from Gettysburg College. I wonder if they had their futures lined up when these photos were taken and if they also felt a hybrid feeling of excitement and apprehension.
Enough nostalgia though. In going through these photos, I discovered a number of absolutely beautiful backs that Tipton used over the years to leave his mark on the photographs he took. Some are fascinatingly descriptive and others are ornately artistic! My personal favorite is the back that informs the viewer that Tipton's gallery recently moved and is right "next door to Buehler's Drug Store."
Needless to say, I'm already attached to the fronts and backs of these photographs.