Beginning Count: 2,653
Total: 2,955 photographs and negatives processed since July 7th, 2015.
Today I finished up the 2nd box of photographs in the collection and began the 3rd. I’m averaging about 200-300 photographs and negatives a day. When I began working on this collection over a year ago, I spent 3 weeks processing the first of 7 boxes of photos. When I started again on July 7th, I’ve managed to finish a box in less than 3 weeks, so processing is slowly picking up speed.
Here are some of the photos I’ve worked on so far:
One of the first photos I worked on was this set. One of the challenges with this photo archive is that there is very little background information about why some photos were taken. In this case, it’s quite obvious that Ali was already quite famous at the time the picture was taken, but where this was taken and why he was there is still unknown. I assume that the picture was taken at City Hall. Billy Mills actually performed the ceremony for Ali’s third marriage to Veronica Porsche in 1977, so it’s possible that they knew each other at the time the picture was taken, which is why Ali may have visited City Hall. I haven’t had a chance to research as to whether or not this was the case. In this picture, he is shaking hands with Assemblyman Leon Ralph.
This is one of my favorite pictures that just recently got digitized. The entire archive is still in the process of being digitized, only a few hundred or so are. But this is another one of the early ones that I processed last year. Another challenge is that a large percentage of the photographs are only present in negatives. It can be difficult to tell whether photos actually belong together in groups just by looking their negatives. This is further complicated by Curtis’ use of both black and white and color film for the same events. I’ve spent entire days hunched over a light box with a loupe trying to make sense of piles of photos to see if they were taken at the same event. This particular set of photos were only negatives when I processed them, so seeing them digitized in full color is fantastic. I particularly love Louis Armstrong’s smile in this picture, which is the same smile present on all of his pictures in this group.