When I first began this project, I sensed 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 believe that this is it and that I have 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 duplication. I have retaken well over 1,700 photos, all with my 2009-“smart” phone in the past ten months. 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.
ORIGINAL CAPTIONS: "Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge - Sept. 1907."
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 exposure 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. I am unsure how long they will survive here on, and I need to bring them all back out again at least one more time to capture cations.
So–I am very glad the important ones now have their JPEG files.
Aside from these digital 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 actual 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 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 "jpeg" any. For many of them:
1. I am not completely clear who they are.
2. They do not contain either Mrs. Perkins or Dr. Perkins.
3. 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 and places they traveled. 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 not retaken, which are likely Water of Life Hospital personnel and their families, other Kiukiang schools and hospitals, or general Method Missions in China.
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 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 tell a story and not overwhelm one’s retina or produce boredom with repetitive pictures. That said, I have exercised on the excessive side for some pages, i.e., The Old Water of Life Hospital, The Great Flood, and The Refugee Camp.
Benjamin R. K. Sun (孫賁)
April 15, 2016 [Rev. 05/15/2016]
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