Save Your Photos Month

by Alex Bartlett, Archivist, Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Posted 9/8/21

September is Save Your Photos Month. During this month, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy encourages everyone to preserve our photographs, so that future generations may learn from them.

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Save Your Photos Month

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Did you know that September is Save Your Photos Month?  During this month, we are encouraged to preserve our photographs, so that future generations may learn from them.  Part of the act of saving our photos involves making sure our photographs will survive the passing of time and ever-changing technology.  These days, so many of us take a quick snap using our cellphone or similar device, but how many of you take the extra steps to create a backup file using the latest technology, or print the photograph?  These two steps will help to ensure your images will survive the ages.  If left in their original digital formats, they will likely eventually become unreadable.

These acts of preservation are particularly important today, with the momentous events of the ongoing pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests.  In a joint program of the Archives of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and that of the Germantown Historical Society/Historic Germantown, high school students from Germantown Friends School participated in an elective course: Documenting Pandemic Life in Germantown.  As oral history interviewer Molly Murphy and Conservancy Curator Liz Jarvis were discussing a similar program for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Molly's son Hugh said he would like to do such a project at GFS. When he went to his advisor, teacher Sarah Kappel, she suggested expanding it into a course.  As part of the course, students conducted oral history interviews in video format, with people from all walks of life last spring, and from all over our area, by interviewing local residents, business owners, educators, students, and more.  As a result of the completion of the course, the students were able to help preserve the history of the pandemic as it occurred here in Northwest Philadelphia.  The students also took a series of photographs, which will prove invaluable in the preservation of the memory of the pandemic and its ongoing effects on our lives.

Over the course of the last year and a half, did you take any images capturing the essence of what life was like during the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests in our area?  If so, please let us know about them, by contacting Chestnut Hill Conservancy Archivist Alex Bartlett, at Alex@chconservancy.org, (215) 247-9329 #206. 

In the meantime, please don’t forget to make back-up copies of your images and while doing so, be sure to identify people and subjects in the photos, and do print out your favorites! Future generations will thank you.

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