Using the Archives and hinging

Using the Archives and hinging

Hello BTN seniors, once again I find myself in a coffee shop writing about my week while I sip on a grande iced caramel macchiato. So much fun…but let’s get to the actually interesting parts of my week. The CCP was really hectic this week as I started my transition from the conservation lab to the archives. I feel like I’ve started to adopt the mindset of many of my coworkers that allows you to be thinking about 20 different things at one time. I started my CCP Photographer Project, still working on formatting the wet book recovery plan for the collections emergency plan (but almost done), took meeting notes for a grant brainstorm session, practiced hinging a piece from the study collection, and that’s just my hectic yet enjoyable weekly snapshot.

Tuesday, March 14:

FullSizeRender.jpgHappy Pi(e) Day! After eating too much pie, I officially started my time in the archives with Emily, the arts librarian. In order to really understand the archive, I’ve been tasked with a CCP Photographer Project. I’m going to be researching Louise Dahl-Wolfe, who was a fashion photographer from Harper’s Bazar magazine from 1936-58. We started by having a reference meeting where Emily introduced the various research tools on the CCP website that helps researchers determine what they want to look at before they make a trip to the Laura Volkerding Study Center. This included how to search Louise Dahl-Wolfe materials with a finding aid, which can be found here if you’re interested.

After our reference meeting, we went to another meeting. This was for the CLIR grant that would go to the digitalization of oral histories at the CCP if they receive it. It was really interesting because the focus was how the digitalized material can appeal to people outside of the photography community. I’ve never really thought about it funding this way (I’ve never needed to either) but it makes since that you want to fund something that will be made available to a wide range of people rather than a single community. So we expanded it from just photographic categories to how the university departments could use the archives. For example, people researching environmental policy might be interested in Ansel Adams advocacy for the National Park Service and the CCP has an Ansel Adams archive that, despite what most people think, is more than photographic materials. It was a very informative meeting and I found it really interesting.

Wednesday, March 15:

I meet Harold Jones, the founding director of the CCP and coordinator of the Voices of Photography (VOP) oral history project. He also started the photography program at the UA. That was really cool and I’ll be working with him starting next week in addition to my conservation/archives work. I’m going to learn how he annotates so the Voices of Photography and other interviews are more accessible for researchers. It’s going to be a interesting project for sure!

After meeting with Harold briefly, Jae and I went to the lab and started working on various projects. I really like that she trusts my ability to work independently and will give me several tasks that I can do throughout the day. For today, I worked on hinging a study collection piece, formatting the wet book recovery plan, reviewed annotations that a previous intern did for Harold’s VOP project, looked through the Louise Dahl-Wolfe finding aid, and we reviewed how I can make a better enclosure for the daguerreotypes that I was working on last week.


What’s cool about hinging is that it’s a temporary yet sturdy way to secure images without damaging them. The hinges have weak pull strength upward so they come right off when the display comes down with no residue left behind.


After many attempts, I finally cut down the hinges correctly.


The hinges attach on the top and bottom side corners. When mounted, a slit will be cut into the mount board and the hinge will slid through, be secured, and then the excess will be cut off. It gives the appearance of floating when on display rather than matted.FullSizeRender 3.jpgFullSizeRender 2.jpg

Thursday, March 16:

Today I spent most of my time in the Volkerding Study Center looking at Louise Dahl-Wolfe negatives and contact prints. They were so cool! I unfortunately can’t publish any photos of them because of copyright but if you’re interested in some of her prints, here is the link to the CCP’s online gallery: It’s a cool feature on the CCP website and you can always look at other photographer’s work.


And that was my week 🙂


2 thoughts on “Using the Archives and hinging

  1. Great posts, Paige! It looks like you are getting some invaluable hands-on experience. I’m fascinated with those hinges, especially with the ability to display the photograph itself as an art object (visible edges). Is this something you think could be done with our AP Portfolios? How mightnyou simplify the process for art students?


  2. I love the hinge technique you learned! Hanging and mounting techniques are invaluable for exhibitions and archiving.


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