CREATE a searchable catalog and index of the
World War II archive of an important Oregon photographer
STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS: an upper-division student with good computer skills and an interest in photography, archiving, and/or history. No particular major would be required.
CREDITS: Up to 3 per term; up to three terms.
Project BACKGROUND: Born in Elgin in the 1920's, Fred Hill has been taking pictures
for over sixty years. He attended Eastern, studied with Minor White at the WPA Art Center in La Grande in 1940, then became a World War II photo lab technician. During the war, he took hundreds of one-of-a-kind color slides in the Pacific Theater, as well as hundreds of black and whites. After the war, he studied with Ansel Adams, then became a commercial photographer for 38 years in California. During those years, he continued to take serious art photos. In 1988, he returned to Union County and still operates an independent photography business here. Since returning, he's also collected hundreds of historical photographs by other Union county photographers. He lives in La Grande, is in his 80's and in good health. His memory is sharp.
THE PROBLEM: at this point, only Fred can identify the subject, date, place in his 60+ year collection of photos. However, Fred doesn't have the skills or patience or inclination to type his catalog, annotations, and index in a searchable data base.
PREPARATION: (1)Fred is now using an annotation system to number his World
War II collection; (2) Fred has now put his black and white World War II images in new photo sleeves and organized them chronologically; (3)he has written date and annotation on the sleeves in long hand.
SPECIFIC WORK: The student would first learn the basic history of the Pacific Theater in WW II and Fred's experience and role in that war. (Fred has several books and documents that summarize that experience.) At a mutually convenient time each week, the student would go to Hill's home archive on Sunset with a lap top and enter the information Fred has written on each photo sleeve into a computerized data/labeling system. When all the World War II photos have been entered and organized, the student would then create a searchable database/finding aid, create a typed label from that data base to be added to each sleeve.
George Venn, Professor Emeritus
Department of English
Eastern Oregon University
706 B Avenue, La Grande, OR 97850