Archives moving 30,000 photos; needs publics help with identification

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Troup County Archives is in the process of transferring its collection of over 30,000 photos and older LaGrange City Council minutes into a new public domain that the public will be able to sort through and view.

Do you know her? The picture shows an unknown woman at the West Point Dam in 1978 in the Troup County Archives’ photo collection. This one of the many photos the Archives needs help identifying.

This move, which archivist Alex Hughes said could take several months, will make photos in the Archives’ collection more viewable and categorized more specifically with tags and timeframes, making identifying subjects in the photos easier. In the future, this will allow the Archives to add more photos in a more presentable way.

“It’s more accessible,” Hughes said. “Our code of ethics [as archivists] is to provide as wide of accessibility as possible.”

In the meantime, the public can help the Archives fill in some of the gaps with the photo collection and possibly identify some of the unknown subjects in the photos. This way, photo subjects are identified when they are entered into the new system.

“As collections and photographs have been donated over the years, we know some of the people in a photograph, but sometimes you can have 10 to 15 in a photograph and you don’t know who they all are,” Hughes explained.

The majority of photos in the Archives’ collection are dated between the early 1900s to current times. Identifying subjects in earlier photos is especially important considering those who might have known them may have moved from the area or died, Hughes noted. Some subjects in photos might also be misidentified.

The Archives currently uses a system called PastPerfect but are now transferring photos to a system called Content DM, a photo archive that is used by other historical archives around the state and throughout the country, Hughes said.

Residents can view the Archives’ available collection of photos at https://trouparchives.pastperfectonline.com/. If a resident sees someone in a photo they recognize that is not identified, they can email info.trouparchives.org or call (706) 884-1828.

The Archives’ is always accepting photo donations from the public that will be scanned and returned to their owners.