About this station
The Information Station is where each contributor takes their first step toward digitizing their photos and documents. At this station, your primary responsibility is to guide contributors through the photo documentation process for the event. This requires completing a photo form for each contribution. The photo forms are the official records of each and every photographic contribution to the event. For this reason, your role at this station is essential to the success of the entire event. While the photo form is relatively straightforward, there are a number of strategies you can employ to ensure high-quality documentation for every contribution. These strategies will be the focus of this module and the next.
With this in mind, your goals at the Information Station are to:
- Guide the contributor in filling out a Photo Form to document each contribution
- Review photo/document forms for completeness and legibility
- Record nametag # and photo # on the Photo Form
- Usher contributors to the Scanning Station
Since some of these goals are more complex than others, the station is divided into two modules. This first module will cover the most basic elements of these goals:
- Photo Form: recording the photo # and documenting information about the photograph
- Review photo/document forms
- Usher contributors to the Scanning Station
Supplies needed at the Information Station:
- At least five 6-8’ tables
- 20-30 chairs (for staff and contributors)
- Photo Forms (Download a sample of the Mass. Memories Road Show Photo Form)
- Archival folders
- Pens (for photo forms)
- Information Station sign (for the table)
How it works
Let’s take a closer look at how the Information Station works!
Section 1 of 3: Photo Form
For the Mass. Memories Road Show program, we allow contributors to submit up to 3 photos so that we can accommodate as many contributors as possible at the day-long event. Each contributor must complete one photo form for each photo or document. If the contributor has brought more than 3 photos, allow the contributor some time to select 3 photos from their collection. Your role is to guide the contributor in filling out a photo form for each of their contributions.
a. Record the Photo ID
Each photo will be assigned a unique photo ID. The photo ID consists of three parts: the pre-assigned event number, followed by the contributor’s nametag number, followed by the number of that particular photo in the contributor’s set of photos (1, 2, or 3).
Example: Shrewsbury, MA is event #43 for your organization. Mary Tortuga is Contributor #107, and she is contributing three photos. The photo ID for Mary’s second photo would be 43.107.2.
b. Document the Photographic Information
Each photo form requires the contributor to submit several pieces of information about the photo. This information offers context for each photo and allows researchers to search for photos by location, date, name, and keywords used in the description. You’ll notice that “Title” is #7 on this form. This is because we recommend that you fill out the title for a photograph last. As you’ll learn in the Information Station 2b module, titles are often chosen at the end.
1. Photo ID
2. Contributor name
3. Where was this photo taken? The location should include neighborhood, city or town, state, and country. It’s okay if you don’t know all of these details, but please encourage contributors to write down what they DO know about the location. Specific location information beyond neighborhood or town, i.e. “Walden Pond,” “my backyard at 5 Woodside Road,” or “the Boston Common” can be included in the Description field of the form.’
4. When was this photo taken? The date can include day, month, and year, an approximate date such as “circa 1970″ or a decade range or circa. It’s helpful and better to have an estimate than nothing at all.
5. Placement of each person in the photo: Full names (first and last) of each person in the photo, listed back-to-front and left-to-right.
6. Please describe this photo. Contributors should provide additional details about the photograph that they feel are important to include. For more information on photo descriptions, please see the module Information Station 2b.
7. Give this photo a title. Contributors should provide a title that they feel adequately represents the photograph. For more information on photo titles, please see the module Information Station 2b.
Section 2 of 3: Review photo/document forms
Review the photo form for completeness. Once the visitor has completed the registration form, be sure to sign your initials in the “Reviewer initials” field of the form.
- Verify that the form is…
a. Complete, with all fields filled out so that it can be properly archived.
b. Accurate, so that the photo and text description correspond. Ask yourself, “Does this description make sense for the photo?”
c. Legible, so that another person can read. Ask yourself, “Is the writing legible?” If you can’t read it, ask permission to add or replace text as needed.
d. Clear, so that another person can understand (grammatical issues and incomplete phrases are fine). If there is anything that you do not understand, ask the contributor to clarify. You might want to read it aloud and see if it makes sense.
2. Sign your initials on the “Reviewer #1 Initials” line on the bottom of the Registration Form to confirm that you have completed 1(a)-(d) above.
Section 3 of 3: Usher contributors to the Scanning Station
Usher contributors to the Scanning Station, making sure that they have all of their original materials with them as well as a Photo Form for each of their contributions.
Example: “Thank you for documenting your photos! You can now proceed to the Scanning Station. Just head straight this way.”