Cataloging colour slides

Cataloging colour slides


My collection of color slides has sat in
a box for about 20 years and apart from a few vague memories I realized I really
have no idea of what I actually have. It was about time to start cataloging them.
I was a little too clumsy to use the viewer tray in its vertical position as
they kept falling off, so I made a couple of frames to hold it horizontally. This
worked a lot better. Rather than digitizing every single slide I owned,
which would be a real waste of time, I was going to take a single photograph of
each box of slides. That way I could see what I had. I’m using labels with a
unique number to keep track of the slides that come out of a single box.
This label appears in each photograph. This is how I take the picture of the entire box of slides – up to 40 at a time. For individuals you can take a close-up
with a macro lens and I found that this quality is quite acceptable for
sharing on social media. The last step before moving over to the computer is to
stick that sticky label on the box. This way we can always get back to the
original slide if we ever need a high-quality copy. Normally I would take four or five boxes
before I moved over to the computer but this is just the results of one box So
what you see in this step is getting everything straight, cropping it down to
just the bit that we need and generally tidying up the images You can see here how this
picture is tied to the box number 19 so that we can always get back to the
original box. If you actually look closely you may or may not be able to
see each slide number is also visible when you go in so looking at one of
these pictures one can get back to an individual box and slide number. I’m creating an individual folder for
each box of slides and the folder name will incorporate that label number (19 in
this case) so that all the photos associated with our box of slides are in
the same folder. My photo management software (ACDSee) has a very powerful database which will allow me to find individual images from tens
of thousands of photographs but in order for this to work we have to set the date
and other tags correctly So in this case the only tag I’m adding is
a genetic “pets” one but in the case of people photographs I would have one tag
for each member of the family, for instance. When you dive right into the photographs
you can blow them up and there’s plenty of resolution to see exactly what is on
each photograph and here, by the way, you can see that slide number and original date on each slide. The reason for all of this cataloging is
so that we can get a specific slide brought up fairly quickly. Here
I’m looking for pets in 1985. If the search gets you to the folder with the
correct box of slides but the specific slide you’re interested in hasn’t been
copied yet, remember it’s really easy to get a copy. This particular one was taken
with a handheld phone camera – the quality of this copy is quite good. So, in summary, we only catalogue the important slides, we make quick copies of selected ones we make it really easy to find them and we make high-quality copies only as
necessary.

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