Student Perspective: Digitizing Public Relations Negatives

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Starting in September of last year, another student worker and I were tasked with the large task of scanning boxes worth of negatives from Columbia College’s Public Relations department.

There are both color and black & white rolls of film, primarily 35mm, but some medium format (which produce negatives that are 2¼ ” x 2¼”). Each roll of film is labeled by a unique four- or five-digit number, and usually nothing else, save for the occasional date.

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The archive documents events associated with Columbia College from the late nineties through the early two-thousands. There are art openings and auctions, fashion shows, concerts, dance recitals, dinner cruises, workshops, awards ceremonies, and of course graduations. The photographs capture the diversity, hard work, and individual passions that make up the college.

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