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Cataloging and digitalizing an archive is an enormous task that requires both time and money. One of the first things that you have to confront when you’re working on your own archives is self-censorship. When you are looking at a document that was created some decades ago it is very tempting to destroy anything that you consider to be either ‘unimportant’ or ‘embarrassing’.
Some slides in my archive have deteriorated to the point of being totally unrecognisable (see image below)
However, most are in reasonable conditions and unlike the slide above, many are restorable.
One of the really interesting aspects of viewing old slides and photographs is seeing what is in the background, behind the central subject matter that was being photographed. If you take the above image which is ‘Agent Orange’ looking towards Parliament House in 1980 you can see that it is immediately contextualised in a time and place.