This paper examines the impact of digitizing historical photographs for online access and considers the following questions: What values are gained or lost in the process of digital reproduction? Are these values important, and, if they are, to whom and at what level?This ongoing study is approached from the perspective of custodians in photographic archives. Over the past two years we have carried out investigations by interview and questionnaire into the comparative values found in digital reproductions of historical photographs. This has produced original data on critical issues raised by current digitization procedures.These studies have revealed that technology is currently placed at the forefront of digitization projects but that the technicians responsible for implementing digital procedures are not always aware of the complex nature of historical photographic materials, and are thereby failing to identify both the material and aesthetic values present in the original photograph. In so doing, we argue that the value of information integral to the original photograph is, at best changed, and at worst, significantly reduced by digitization.
Veronica Davis Perkins, Richard Butterworth, Paul Curzon, "“Don't Forget the STAGES!” Searching for Values in Digital Surrogates of Historical Photographs" in Proc. IS&T Archiving 2005, 2005, pp 26 - 31, https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2005.2.1.art00007