I. T. Haig, Director                                                                                           December 3, 1947

Library Committee

R-SE, Photography, General

In an effort to promote the use of photographs and to improve the quality of photography in the Station, the Library Committee has investigated the status of the Station's photographic files.  The following is a report of this investigation and is concluded by a number of recommendations.

In 1941 E.H. Frothingham reported on the condition of the photographic files.  As an integral part of preparing this report a so-called indexed central photographic file was set up in the Station Library.  The purpose of this file was apparently to gather in one place the pictures taken by the various Divisions and to supplement the generally un-filed collections maintained within the Divisions.

At present the Library Committee has found the following existing conditions:

1. The central photographic file has been in a stagnant status since July 1943.  Few, if any, pictures have been added.
2.  Use of this central file has been far from commensurate with the effort put into it up to 1943.
3.  The index headings used in the central file do not now seem to be very well adapted to all of the Divisions.
4.  Division files are generally susceptible to much improvement.  In some cases they are still collections of photographs rather than files.
5.  The apparently limited future use of a central file precludes extending the effort required to establish and maintain the file to the necessary standards.
6.  Adequate Division and Branch Station files will satisfactorily meet the Station's requirements.  They are now in active operation and are frequently used.  Division personnel are familiar with them and accustomed to handling them.  They are in need of much improvement.  Nevertheless, they are the logical focal points of an organized photographic file.
7.  Color slides are possibly supplementing, rather than complementing, regular black and white photographs.
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On the basis of the above, the following recommendations are submitted.

1.  The central photographic file should be eliminated.
2.  Active effort should be extended by all Divisions and Branch Stations to completely index, bring up to date and maintain the photographic files so that they may be used to their maximum extent.  This is a very essential and urgent job in view of the expanded photographic effort of the Station.
3.  Division and Branch Station files need not be absolutely uniform, but the index should be sufficiently detailed to facilitate use by people outside of the Division or Branch Station.
4.  Separate color slide files should continue to be expanded but should not displace regular photograph files.
5.  A photographic training course by qualified photographers of Atlanta or Washington should be given to selected members of the technical staff to assure the proper use of expensive photographic equipment being used by Station employees and to improve the quality of pictures taken by Station personnel.
                                                                                 (signed by Walton R. Smith)                                                                                                                                                             Chairman