While I specialize in photography, I have archived many other types of collections, including flat art work (paintings, drawings, lithographs), sculpture, film & video, books, historical ephemera, clothing and jewelry.  Any group of items you have that you would like organized, preserved and easily accessible can be archived.  Many individuals who plan to pass on or who have inherited collections choose to do this in preparation for insurance or estate valuation. Some collections, particularly of photography, contain a great deal of valuable intellectual property and if handled correctly, can be monetized while maintaining integrity.  Others simply want a way to have their collection digitized so it can be shared with family and friends.

Whatever the scope of your project, the steps taken to achieve the desired end result are basically the same.  Here is an overview of my process…

A personal Archive Plan is drawn up.  Will everything be digitized? Is there editing that needs to occur? Is the material being stored in the best way to ensure it’s preservation?  What materials will be needed such as archival boxes, sleeves and albums?  What is the ultimate, long term goal for your collection?

When a project begins, the first step is a detailed assessment and inventory.  This is generally done on an Excel spreadsheet, which serves as the basis for a personal digital library archive further on in the process.  I will go through all the items, take notes and organize everything in a way that makes sense for you.

Issues of archival storage are addressed.  For photography negatives and prints, this means making sure the environment in which the material is stored, the boxes in which it is contained and anything that comes into contact with it is safe and will not cause damage in the future.  Where damage has already occurred, immediate steps are taken to save the items from further degradation.

If editing is to be done, who will do the editing?  Working in photography, I can edit and choose the best images in a series, or if you would like to be more involved in that process we can work out the logistics to make the editing process work easily and smoothly.

Now, the fun begins.  Your collection is captured digitally.   Negatives and flat artwork are scanned in high resolution.  Three dimensional objects are photographed. Everything is stored on your personal hard drive, I maintain a backup drive and all is stored securely for instant access on Amazon Cloud.

This is where everything that’s been inventoried and digitized comes together in an easy to use, searchable visual database.  All of your assets have been key worded with a wide array of terms and can easily be pulled up and viewed along with all relevant information about the asset such as location and value.  This archive can be synced with your existing home entertainment system so you can view it, or a selection of it, on your television screen.  This works especially well for photography or personal home movies that are kept in your personal archive.

In the age of digital photography, your personal archive may be growing on a daily basis, especially with young children.  I will work with you to continuously edit and maintain your archive.

Many wish to share their collection with family and friends in a secure way.  I can build a protected website so you can share only what you want to share with whom you choose to share it.  It’s also possible for family and friends to order prints of images they select.

I’m a believer in the art of the print.  Drugstores are great for quick 4×6 photos, but when you want to create a beautifully printed album or fine art prints that will last for generations and become family heirlooms, that is another process entirely.  I can guide you through this process and create beautiful prints that will last.

Professional framing and hanging of artwork is a step that is often overlooked but makes a big difference in the look and longevity of the art you choose to live with on a daily basis.  I work with some of the best framers and art installers in Los Angeles and can guide you through this process and make suggestions on choosing framing and installation.

You might not realize that the collection you have might have the potential to be monetized.  In our continually expanding visual culture, we are hungry for images of all types, especially those of historical value and interest.  Should you choose to explore this and if the collection you have warrants it, I can work with you to place your collection with an image licensor and create fine art prints of the work to sell in galleries.

Why choose Geraldine Baum?  As a professional archivist with a decade of experience working to preserve fragile photography and works of art, you will have a high level of personalized attention and access to the best preservation and digitization techniques available.

Call (323) 578-5353 to schedule a complimentary 1 hour consultation.  If you’re in the Los Angeles area I can come to you.  For out of town clients, I am available via Skype for consultations.  Prior to your consultation I will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire about your project.