Thursday, April 30, 2009

The “Margins of Archivy”: Archival Description of Visual Materials Part 7 of 7

This post is part of a series exploring archival description of visual materials. Please click below to read further:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Archival Description for Visual Materials

Archival description of images has sought to combine traditional library and archival practice with the more focused descriptive practices found in the museum and visual resources communities. Description of images remains challenging. Due to the nature of visual material, a standardized approach for description is ideal, but compromises must be made. All images cannot be indexed completely, nor can all resources be expended on indexing only a few collections. Approaches should be equitable, reasonable, and within the means of the institution. While there are challenges to be found when working with visual materials, these objects hold a wealth of information that justifies the additional effort needed to make them accessible. Archivists must draw visual materials from the “margins of archivy” and establish them in their rightful place as records of enduring value and primary sources of informational and evidential importance for future generations.

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