by Katrina Zarelli
During my internship at the Saint Francis Barracks, I have primarily been working on scanning in National Guard photographs and documents that are connected to the photos into the National Guard database. I have been organizing the documents according to date, year, event, or location. After the documents have been scanned, I go through the photographs and try to find the names and ranks of the members. Some names like MG Harrison or BG Watson come up often because of their higher ranking jobs, but there are others that are less well known in the photographs as well. After finding the names I put them into the metadata and save the work.
The idea is that after my internship is over, the Saint Francis Barracks will be able to make the scanned work searchable to the public using the names that I found. If there is a research topic on the Master Generals of the National Guard and the researcher searches for MG Harrison, all the photos I have scanned that have his name connected to them will pop up in the search. The importance of this is that researchers and students can find information about the National Guard and photographs of the individual. They cannot, however, find photographs of the individual giving a speech at the National Guard Convention.
There is more to the internship than just making photos searchable. When the internship comes to an end, I will have started to get in contact with the soldiers or their families to find out if they would like scans of the photographs that I have processed. Many people while serving our country do not have photographs of themselves during this time period in their lives. So even though I am just scanning in photographs, those photographs will eventually find their way home.