4/2/24: PhxArt’s Ancient Photo Technology

Valeria R -

This past week, I began writing a finding aid for the Old Glory collection. As put by archivists in a helpful YouTube video, “a finding aid is to archives as a menu is to a restaurant.” Basically, a finding aid details the contents and locations of an organized collection of archives.

I also spent lots of time this past week inspecting film photo slides, which I did not know existed as a form of photography until I arrived at PhxArt. There are hundreds if not thousands of tiny transparent slides in the museum’s collection from the 20th century (today the museum’s photographs are all digital), but I focused on the slides depicting Old Glory protests and the exhibit itself. Some methods of viewing these slides include placing them on a lit up white screen, using a slide projector to see them larger on the wall (although dimmer and slightly blurrier), or simply holding them up one by one to the white ceiling lights. We use the first method the most since holding up the slides is inefficient and the slide projector heats up so much that the slides inside almost melt and cook.

Old Glory protest slides


Old Glory exhibit slides 
Here’s the slide projector (very hot!)

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