Selection and Appraisal Exercise

For the Digital Curation MSc course module at the University of Glasgow, students were assigned to the task of walking around Glasgow and taking seven pictures of what we saw. We were then to narrow down our choices to three photos based on our assessment of their value, for which criteria and traditional models were provided in the first part of the exercise (i.e. evidential, administrative, scientific research, and cross-archive value- to name just a few). The following were the photographs I chose for the exercise:

Photo 1:



Photo 2:



Photo 3:



I chose the initial seven targets for my photos as I was walking along the Clyde while the sun went down, and I wanted to represent a particular location at a particular point in time. For the following part of the exercise, we were to discuss our rationale for chosing the final three in the context of our exploration of value:

For all of the photos, I feel that the overall appraisal decision would really be contingent on the collections policy of the repository into which they were deposited. Aside from these aspects, however, I feel that the only intrinsic value in these photos is aesthetic. The photos are not old, as I took them a few days ago. The photographs aren’t really unique, though they certainly are in that no other person could have taken the exact same photos at the same time under the same conditions. The photos have no legal, administrative or fiscal value, though they are evidential in that they prove I have been at a certain spot along the Clyde at a certain point in time (though for what purposes this would be useful, I’m not sure!). The photographs are valuable, however, in their relationship to each other, as each individual photograph marks a moment in time in my walk along the Clyde. In terms of my appraisal, these photos would be very cheap to keep as they are not only small in terms of file size, but they are also JPEGs, an already small file format.

Turning to photo 2, I feel that this photo could, in theory, show some scientific or research value as it is of industrial machinery. However, the frame of the picture is just so that one cannot really identify all the parts of the machine, as it was taken for purely aesthetic value, which negates any sort of real scientific value. Photo 3 may certainly contain some historic value, or value to any institution attempting to document the historic development of the Clyde. The picture shows some contemporary development, including the Clyde Arc, giving some touristic value as well. However, due to the prevalence of similar pictures on the internet, I doubt this photo would have much significant value in terms of appraisal.





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