Friday, 17 April 2015

Guest Blog 3

I will definitely have to think of a better title for the guest blogs!

Today's guest blog is from is from Melissa and gives a lovely example of the way that photography resonates so much with each of us on a personal level:
I heard about the HLF project on East Midlands Today news and thought, finally something I’d like to volunteer for!

Although I was asked by friends and family, why would I volunteer for something you know nothing about, I’d always say because I want to learn something new. Having recently retired, the opportunity to learn new skills was a gift to me, as well as being able to contribute to a project which has the potential to be such a useful and interesting resource for the public.

After a full day of training it was my turn to start the cleaning and conservation work at Winters.

What struck me most about the whole experience was the second plate I worked on was of a young nurse who had qualified in the 1950’s, having completed her training at Aston Hall Hospital. Probably nothing out of the ordinary for any of the other volunteers, however, I started my nurse training at Aston Hall hospital in the 1980’s and to see this young women at the start of her nursing career had so many echoes in my own life I was blown away!

In that moment I knew I’d done the right thing—to me each photographic plate the volunteers preserve is a “stitch” in the yet unfinished “tapestry” that will be made by all our hard work.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Guest Blog 2

The Volunteer Experience

Local graphic designer, Michael Seymour, describes aspects of the project:

"As a volunteer at Winters I'm grateful to be a part of the preservation and maintenance of this local heritage site. Such a discovery offers historical insights to techniques and processes of a bygone era. In my opinion the very purpose of photography is to capture moments in time thus inspiring me to help rediscover and further preserve these forgotten moments of Derbyshire's past."

As someone who works with images, Michael is particularly intrigued by the pre-digital editing processes; the hand-retouched negatives that show the pencil shading to smooth out skin tone, the blocking out of areas with masking fluids; now performed 'virtually' on Photoshop as the captured image is now all-but-extinct as an artefact.

"Working alongside fellow volunteers and members of the Winters team we record, catalogue and digitise both written and visual data and are constantly finding new and exciting pieces to add to the collection."

Michael and his fellow volunteers are integral and essential to preserving these pieces of history!