Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The March from Selma to Montgomery

Alabama Department of Archives and History

This collection of 40 photographs of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama is one of the collections available online through the Alabama Department of Archives and History. There is no indication why these particular photographs or the items in any collection were chosen for digitization. It is also unclear as to whether these 40 photographs are the only photographs the Alabama Department of Archives and History posses of the march. Any decisions about how decisions about the collection were made are not available on the site.
The entire collection is viewed as a list of thumbnails with their title, subjects and descriptions. From that list, individual photographs can be selected, revealing a much larger version of the photograph and more extensive metadata. The metadata included with each photograph is extensive and includes title, subject, date, file format, author, collection title, object format, file name, any previous file names and the number of the box it is in, along with other fields. Each photograph also includes a statement about the rights for usage of that photograph and a link to a form requesting permission to reproduce or publish it. Additionally, most of the entries in the metadata fields are clickable and generate a search for other objects within the collections that contain the same entry.
The photographs have been digitized as 600 dpi tiffs and each is given a unique number to aid in its identification. THough the site does not allow users to zoom in on the images after their page has been pulled up.
The structure of the site site appears to be aimed more towards an individual with an academic interest in the photographs, though it does attempt to present itself to casually interested individuals as well by providing a brief explanation of the historical context of the photographs.

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