As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I inherited a collection of 16mm movies made by my two grandfathers, each an enthusiastic amateur and early adopter of photo technology. I have been struggling with their fate, as they consume a not-inconsiderable amount of space in my archives. Space that could be used to store other useless artifacts.
They have now been (mostly) digitized. And one can find them summarized at this page.
I have great difficulty getting rid of things. As someone who respects the historical path that brought us to our current time, place, and relations, it is hard to discard mementos, especially (for me) photographs that captured moments along that path. As a scientist, I am loathe to delete “data”, that might someday be valuable.
I have to acknowledge the slim likelihood of such artifacts becoming valuable. I hold no conceit that some biographer will ever be looking for scraps and clues identifying the influences on my own childhood. I like to think that my contributions to society have been positive, but probably not worth much more than an oblique reference in an obituary (“he was a curious man”). But maybe there were things in those movies that would be of interest to someone else. I didn’t know how to find that audience.
So the movies, spooled on metal reels of various sizes, lay dormant for years. When I wondered about their ultimate fate, I realized that eventually, they would have NO meaning to anyone, even if it were possible to view them. If there was any value to be extracted, it would have to be now, by me.
I described that initial effort in the previous post on this topic. Here is what has happened since.Continue reading