Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sepia Saturday - From Here to There - Camels and Donkeys and Horses, Oh My!

Now that Dad's slides and the three magnetic photo albums in my possession are scanned (just found another one - sigh!), it is finally time to scan my paternal grandparents' album from their trip to the Near East in 1938.

It broke my heart to do it, but the album was in such awful condition with the pages literally breaking whenever they were touched, that I finally made the decision to dismantle it entirely. There's something a little soulless about a collection of loose photos, maps and mementos as opposed to an album that clearly took time to assemble. Unfortunately the makers of this album did not choose materials for the inside of the album with as much care as the beautiful maroon leather cover which my grandfather had embossed with the words "NEAR EAST'.

In 1938 he was Executive Secretary of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and he and my grandmother went on a three month inspection tour of the Institute's expeditions; the Epigraphic Expedition at Luxor, Egypt, the Megiddo Expedition in Palestine, the Temple of Darius and Xerxes at Naksh-i Rustum near Persepolis in Iran and the Syrian Expedition at Allepo.

I have only just started scanning the photos from the album, and there are many more negatives which were not developed, but there are plenty of interesting photos mostly from Egypt that fit this theme.

"Guide who sang, "Yes, we have no bananas" on the way to Sakkarah.

"Dagmar with white camel"
Market Day, Luxor, Egypt


"Dagmar wading stream via horseback on way to Naksh-i Rustim, Iran.
Although I am entirely grateful to have these photos, I cannot wait until I have it in my budget to by a scanner that will digitize the large negatives from this trip. I also wish there were a photo of my grandmother on the camel on which she toured the Great Pyramids, but that happened late at night, so it isn't likely.

Next week I have more photos from this trip; cars, trains and ships

Don't forget to head on over to Sepia Saturday to see what others have posted.

11 comments:

  1. A wonderful family resource with fascinating photographs. I look forward to seeing more on your grandparents' travels.

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  2. What a huge job. I'm contemplating a similar exercise and have negatives in my possession too. What scanner did you have in mind for them? I've only scanned photos and slides before...not negatives. Is it the same process?

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    1. Scanning modern negatives is very similar to slides if you have a flatbed scanner that is formatted for both, which I do, it is an Epson Perfection v370. The negs from this trip and others from the 30s, 40s and 50s are approximately 2" x 3" individual negatives and the scanner I'm looking at is the Epson V800 or V850 which are $650 and $850 respectively. I seems the process could be very different because I've seen recommendations that the negatives be scanned by suspending each one in liquid on the scanner. The wet-mount kit is another $60 and I would imagine the process to be much more time consuming, although I don't know. I've considered having them done professionally but with over 2,000 negatives all together, that would cost three times what the V800 does.

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  3. I have a large collection of loose old photos of my husband's family. They are true sepia photos of grand & great-grandparents as well as great aunts & cousins. They were taken with a very good camera so they enlarge quite nicely. What I want to do is scan them all, enlarge them, print them out & put them in an album together with the original prints. It's going to be quite a job, but I'm truly looking forward to it.

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    1. I'm hooked, especially with slides and negatives when you are waiting to see the image emerge. It is a huge job, I can't even estimate what percentage of all my images I have scanned, but I love doing it (most of the time).

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  4. Anna, these are such unique photos that you're saving for the family's future. Was there a diary, report, or itinerary to accompany the album? Your scanning maintained a lot of detail, I can see, which is great. Good luck with scanning the negatives sometime (hopefully soon).

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  5. Wonderful photos. Love your grandmother in her saddle shoes with the camel.

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    1. I know, right? She's wearing them in just about every photo. I can't imagine walking all over archeological digs and sites for three months in those shoes. Sketchers please!

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  6. They must have had a really interesting trip back then - before it all became too touristy. Lovely keepsake of your family.

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  7. I had/have an album that my father put together with photographs of us when I was under 5. He wrote little blurbs for every photo. Unfortunately the manilla pages decomposed. I was able to scan some of them. The black pages are fine but he didn't really use those and couldn't write on them anyway.

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