As a former archivist, special librarian and consultant, I concentrated on visual materials and photographs in particular, for a large part of my career. This blog is my attempt to share my current and past research, and what I call my Georgia Photographers Documentation Project, with as many people as possible.
My research includes the itinerants passing through the state, as well as the visiting photographers who were in Georgia briefly but documented its people and places. I update my database of Georgia photographers and their associates continually, and from it I develop biographical checklists and information for articles. A biographical checklist is indeed a “living document” and it can never be absolutely complete. There will always be more to know and more to find out about these fascinating persons.
Others’ lives truly fascinate me – as well as their deaths (and yes, I read obituaries!). I found myself keeping various lists of these photographers and their associates – any suicides and “interesting” deaths, crimes in which they were involved, including pornography charges, their second occupations, and where portraits of them and views of their studios are located.
In the coming months I plan to post much of the above trivia, some mystery photos from my collection needing identification, my ‘brick walls’ with which I need help, and biographical data on some of these individuals and on Georgia’s families of photographers.
I want to share the research of other photo and cultural historians as it relates to photo research in Georgia, the South, and beyond – and where our state fits within that history. There will be posts of my interviews with historians, collectors, educators and others who I hope you will find as interesting as do I.
My experience behind the desk as a reference and processing archivist as well as in special libraries is invaluable to me in this research. In addition to that work, I spent some years working part-time helping others do genealogy, and inquiry into these lives requires those genealogical skills in particular. I was born in the Chinese year of the Rabbit, luckiest of all signs, and I consider myself so very lucky to be able to meld my myriad research skills into bringing these persons to light.
Anyone can contact me for further information on any bit of biographical info or trivia posted here. I keep extensive source notes and files. Among the sources I use is the information found on the photographs themselves, information from the photographers’ descendants, historians and other individuals, the U.S. Census, vital records, tax records, newspapers and photographic journals.
I hope my research on Georgia photographers and their associates inspires my readers to delve further. Now, get on your bike and go do more hunting and gathering!
I only ask to be credited as the source of the information I provide you. Credit lines should read: E. Lee Eltzroth, Georgia Photographers Documentation Project, with the date of the post and/or when we were in touch and you got that information. Photographs posted here are from my own collection unless stated otherwise, but please contact me prior to any image use.