A picture is worth a thousand words…

Well, I have been at the Preservation Society for a little over two weeks now and I have really enjoyed my time here. So far I have gone through all 1,358 photos that had been digitized previously from slides, copying them on to my computer and renaming them with more useful file names. As I went I placed the photos into different folders based on the subject matter. This process sometimes required research into the person or place shown so that I would know the best category to place the photo in. These folder categories are also still somewhat fluid and may change based on additional research and what I find as I continue to digitize photos. With the arrival of the new slide scanner earlier this week, I began digitizing the rest of the slides kept at the Horace Williams House, naming and filing them with the rest. After I finish digitizing the slides I will move on to scanning print photos into a digital format as well.

I have already learned a lot by looking at the photos and researching their subjects. The photos vary widely over time and subject, with photos from the 1920s and 30s as well as many from the 1970s and 80s. As far as subject matter, there are many photos of the Horace Williams House over time as well as the Carolina Inn, various buildings on UNC’s campus, churches throughout Orange and Durham Counties, downtown Durham’s tobacco warehouses, and much more. Prominent people in Chapel Hill’s history are also featured heavily in the photos including George Watts Hill (Sr and Jr), James Sprunt Hill (founder of Carolina Inn), and Mary Turner Lane (an advocate for women students, faculty, and staff at UNC).

However, some photos are difficult to categorize because they are not labeled and I cannot research them if I don’t know what they are. Some of the other interns and the director Ernie have been able to identify some of the photos, but sadly one of the categories is “To Be Identified.”

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites so far:

The Horace Williams House’s Octagon Room before a remodel that I think happened in the 1970s or 80s. Photo from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Collection.
Horace Williams House’s Octagon Room after the remodel done in the 1970s or 80s. Today this room is different yet again, serving as an art gallery. Photo from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Collection.
William Scott and James Weaver at the Carolina Inn. Photo from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Collection.
Aerial View of the Carolina Inn from the 1930s; Note how much space is still available across the street from the Inn, space that is now occupied by campus buildings. Photo from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Collection.
George Watts Hill Jr. and George Watts Hill Sr. Photo from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Collection.

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