A Puzzle: What do I do with all these found negatives
Here's the problem: I got to have the contents of a long-abandoned darkroom recently (small 35mm enlarger, msc amateur-level equipment, nothing special) and among the stuff was the negatives of the previous occupant.
Nope: Not another Vivian Mayer. Lots of head shots, family vacation shots, cat shots, christmas tree shots, Stuff like that. Dead normal life in America in the 70s, 80s and so on and so forth. NO good shots of historic buildings, famous folk(that I can tell) or anything else.
No clue who anyone is, or where or when shot, or anything.
Negatives are rolled into film cans that he bought bulk film or scotch-taped (gad!) onto bound sheets of paper.
I got these from the guy cleaning out the house that had stood empty for ten years after the old couple left for the long pastures. Their kids, I am assured, have no interest in any of it, didn't want to come down and be involved in the cleaning out. What the cleaner did with the old photo albums, I have no idea, but I hope he sent them to the kids, or at least offered them.
But here are the negs, which I grabbed because I knew they'd be tossed, but I'm damned if I can think of what to do with them besides toss them myself. And I work in a museum, where we hate to toss anything!
So, ideas? Anyone out there want them? Might make an addition to one of those art projects that salvage old pictures, or something.
I dunno. I need to clear out. Someday my own negs may end up with this same fate (sadly, while I think my stuff is good, who else will?).
So there we are.
Yeah. Sadly, not even enough to interest a silver reclaimer. Probably equals a coupla hundred feet of film.
I hate to say this, but how much do you want for them? I may put them into an art project. My mother in law threw out the negs of my father in law, whom I only met once (before we were married), and I cringe every time I think about them.
If there isn't much in the way of space taken up, just hang on to them. Who knows, maybe some time in the future the family of the person who took them will want them.
I hate when people ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years...... I don't have 2020 vision!
call a local historical society or public library
tell them they are photographs of local life
and they might have some interest in them ..
sometimes local historical societies libraries &c will love to take them ...
i was gifted hundreds of sheets of film, photo albums &c from a local photographer
who died, had no family and his executor was going to dumpster everything .. someone
knew i was local ( from apug ) contacted me and put me in touch ... its all in 2 boxes in my garage
i have no use for any of it .. but at least it is saved from the dump.
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How much? I dunno -- your promise that you will donate $10 to the red cross at the earliest opportunity. I can put them in a small box and ship it off.
Originally Posted by didjiman
PM me a mailing address and cross your heart and promise.
As to the suggestion that i contact a historical society -- I AM a local historical society -- that's why I grabbed them. I volunteer at the local museum (www.theunionstation.org) and I can't see anything in these that is of historical interest, at least not to me. With no names, no places, no nothing, it's hard to justify sorting through them.
I think I'll check with the guy who gave them to me, see if he has a contact for family to double check with first, but beyond that there's not much I can do.
Originally Posted by didjiman
This is heartwarming... I was going to suggest printing them as a kind of a project...
Originally Posted by summicron1
Glad someone wants to save them. Might not be worth anything dollar wise, but they should be interesting to some. Too bad you don't know the name of the guy that took them, or maybe you do. I was thinking a show of some sort. After all, some of the photography of the 60's and 70's looked pretty ordinary, but is considered important. Harry Callahan comes to mind.
A lot of work for probably little result, but once you scan them (got a little extra time, right?) and see what you have, there are stock agencies that buy things like family life shots, kitchen and cooking shots, grocery store interiors, industrial scenes, etc., from the 40's, 50's, 60's, things that can be used as contrasts for life today. Color sells better than black and white, unfortunately for you. The more clichéd, the better (bell bottoms, big-finned cars, crew cuts on kids, families eating huge pieces of meat.)
I thought of a project that someone else can do...coat cyanotype solution on a large piece of paper or cloth, and contact the whole collection willie-nillie on it. A little more interesting than what that prince fellow is doing with other peoples' instagrams images.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.