locked SRHA "By Location" Digital Files

George Eichelberger

As we move toward being able to do research and work in the SRHA archives, it may be worthwhile to discuss some of the projects we want to do.

The “Photos and Drawings” digital file includes more than 12,000 images. It consists of .tiff files of either photos, drawings or documents of locations in alphabetical order. Ohio, DC and Florida are the smallest, NC (2,632 files) is the largest.

Simply by the alphabet I’ll use “Alabama by Location” (1,078 items) as an example. A text (work in progress) version of the file is available on Google Drive with the following link:

Alabama locations are in separate directories (the syntax is Unix on my Mac) with individual scans for that location included. While locations are typically a town or city, items such as water towers (called water stations by the Southern, coaling towers are fuel stations), bridges and line side structures may show Mileposts as their location if they are not in a town. (Note that in railroad terminology, “station” may refer to a physical place, the end of a passing siding, in addition to a “depot”.

The photos and negatives in the SRHA archives came from various sources, some photos and negative envelopes are well marked, others tell us little to nothing, some are simply wrong. Notice that many items on the list are simply consecutive numbers. When the items were scanned, the goal was simply to record what was available, not to edit captions or attempt to figure out what the item is showing.

We need to revisit each photo print, drawing or negative and either enter or confirm the file name (and IPTC meta data) or determine if the location can be identified without caption data. Because whoever is doing the work will need access to both the digital files and scanned material, the work must be done at the SRHA archives at TVRM.

As we can open things back up, if you are interested in helping,  plan to go to Chattanooga either for a work session or other dates if we can make arrangements. Send a note to archives@...