When I last posted, the processing plan for the William D. Workman Papers’ photographic materials had just been approved. This document outlined a plan for improving access to the materials by altering the existing finding aid’s organization and further developing its level of detail.
Since then, I have begun physically rearranging the images in accordance with the processing plan and transferring them to more protective archival enclosures. Before this process, all of the images were grouped together in large folders. As you can see in the photographs provided, each image has been transferred to its own acid-free envelope and placed in a specific box according to size and type.
As expected, the initial plan has needed minor revisions, but overall its description and arrangement have been easy to implement and exceedingly useful. In fact, the finding aid’s improved accessibility has already proven to be helpful in responding to the requests of three South Carolina researchers—a journalist working on an anthology of essays, an historian finishing up a collection of oral histories, and a director in the post-production phase of her documentary.
The rehousing of slides, standard prints, and contact prints is complete and I began working on the negatives on Tuesday. I am happy to report that over 50% of the physical reprocessing is complete and we are currently about a month ahead of schedule.
In the coming month, I hope to finish rehousing at least half of Workman’s negatives—there are about 2,000 total and each must be handled with caution and labeled individually. Also, we plan to share more of our findings through both the blog and our social media outlets—so make sure you’re following the South Carolina Political Collections on Facebook and Twitter!
By Mae Howe
Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission.