I spent this weekend thumbing through other people’s memories.
Volunteering with the San Francisco Public Library’s Shades of Bayview project, I spoke with people about their photo collections and helped choose photos to scan and add to the Library’s collection. The aim of the project is to create a permanent record of the daily lives of people in the city. Sort of a huge scrapbook, if you will.
A photo without a story is just an image. Talking with someone about the photo brings it to life. The project gave us a chance not only to see some remarkable photos, but to understand what made them important. It reminds me of how we lost Mr. P’s grandmother recently and how there are so many photos we’ll never understand.
They were hoping to get photos of everyday life. The project leader commented that photos inside homes are rare in the photo archive. It reminded me of how much more common documenting everyday life is now (with Project Life and such). There is so much value in capturing “right now.”
This was a fantastic project. The best photos we found weren’t of vacations, but just life.