Pictures tell thousands of words

South Australian Museum Archives Practicum – Blog Post 2

By Adrian Fenech

I have had some successes and challenges in analysing Norman Tindale’s slides at the South Australian Museum Archives (located at the Science Centre). I have learned techniques to relate Tindale’s journals to his slides by addressing pieces of information in conjunction with each other. Initially I made some errors in the input of data into the information fields which made it more difficult to understand the slide information. The largest error was not being specific enough in differentiating between the “title” and “description” data fields. This is because I originally classified “title” data to be all of the text on the top portion of the slide. This sometimes included the beginning of a sentence which continued on at the bottom of the slide in which case I began by putting the bottom portion of the entry in the “description” field.

However, by looking at the many pieces of data together in Tindale’s slides I have been able to connect more of them to his journals. These fields are: photograph date, location and the name of Aboriginal group involved. Employing all three fields together helps to narrow down the journals that may relate to the slides. Google maps has also been used when the journal information does not contain the specific place a slide mentions. This involves finding which area that Tindale was visiting at the time and using Google maps to determine if the location mentioned on the slide is nearby.

The South Australian Museum Science Centre (photograph from Whitford and Browne 2003).

Reference list

Whitford, K. and R. Brown 2003 Museums and Fish Collections. Retrieved 6 October 2011 from

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