ORIGINAL CAPTIONS: "Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge - Sept. 1907."
When I first began this project, I knew it might not be easy, but I never thought it would take ten months and counting. After sorting through the second and third installments from the Perkins Family Collection, I stand corrected from my previous posting: I have been knee-deep for quite some time. I do believe that this is it and that I have at last come to an end in sorting photos.
The entire Perkins Family Collection contains a total that is well over 2,200 photos, and this is not including numerous duplications. In the past ten months, I have retaken well over 1,700 photos all with my 2009-“smart” phone. I believe I have successfully digitalized these 1,700 plus photos because their respective JPEG files are high in quality if not simply excellent in resolutions, albeit posted ones are much lower in resolutions. It is no small accomplishment or I believe it is rather a significant one in the context of decaying photos.
Yes, they have been protected in that well traveled 19th Century metal suitcase, and subsequent installments appeared to have been partially sorted, categorized, and placed in tightly wrapped envelopes that were sealed in boxes roughly thirty years ago. Now please consider my “brutal” handling of these photos for the past ten months…. They have suffered in the past ten months from exposures to light, oxidative air (some not so good quality), heat, moisture, and low pH (acidity). I did not think of wearing gloves either until later (or too late). I hope I am forgiven on the account that I am likely the only one who will ever take on this project. However, these are indeed very – very – old photos. How long they will survive here on – I am not sure; and I need to bring them all back out again at least one more time to capture cations.
Thus, I am very glad the important ones now have their JPEG files.
Aside from these digitalized and categorized ones, there are two hundred plus photos that I have classified as “Who are these people” and “Where are these places.” These people are likely extended family members and friends of the Perkins, or people they met, and those places were where they visited? Another set contains ~ 30 photos, and I had to categorize them as “Are these actually postcards?” No, I am not joking. I couldn’t tell if they are postcards with no actual labels, faded photos, or even possible old drawings using black ink. In any event, some of them are quite beautiful and artistic.
I did not retake any of these….
Another hundred plus photos should mostly belong to Mrs. Perkins’ original family – the Phillip’s Family – for which I did not "j-peg" any. For many of them, (a) I am not completely clear who they are; (b) they do not contain either Mrs. Perkins or Dr. Perkins; and (c) there is no need to post all family members, since I have sufficient photos from both families.
A few smaller collections are from Mrs. and Dr. Perkins’ youthful days for which I took some, and places they traveled to (I did not retake all of them especially those hundred or so photos taken in the US - see Page 2 of this essay). There are still another 50 or so photos, which are likely personnel of Water of Life Hospital, or of other Kiukiang schools and hospitals, or of general Method Missions in China. They remain untaken.
The Perkins Family Collection: A Thousand and More....
ORIGINAL CAPTIONS: Left - "6 Arthur Place, Nov. 1899." Right - "Standard wisteria, 6 Arthur Pl – June 1907."
Home of Ms. Georgina M. Phillip <Chinese Name: Pei Jia-Ji, 裴家紀> Yonkers, NY
Last but not the least, despite digitalizing over 1,700 photos, I have posted only ~ 825 (tallied on May 12, 2016). The current estimation is that there will be approximately another two hundred to go (I well underestimated the "to be considered for posting" pile a few months ago). My rationale is again that more is not better. The purpose is to use them to tell a story, and not overwhelming one’s retina, or producing boredom with repetitive pictures. That said, I have indeed exercised on the excessive side for some pages, i.e., The Old Water of Life Hospital, The Great Flood, and The Refugee Camp….
But that is only because they are all there is….
Benjamin R. K. Sun (孫賁)
April 15, 2016 [Rev. 05/15/2016]