New Project at the AGRC: Rephotography!

Written by Kayla Utendorf, graduate assistant

Here at the Albert Gore Research Center, we are always looking for fun outreach and cool things to post to social media.  Today we’re excited to launch a new project that features both: rephotography!

Rephotography is photographing a place at different times (typically with a large space of time in between the photographs) in an attempt to show changes and similarities in landscapes, activities, and people.  It is a great tool to compare the permanent (relatively speaking, of course) and impermanent features of the world around us and in this way make us more aware of the past, which we may sometimes ignore.  For example, even though I am a history student, I am accustomed to studying larger trends in history and I don’t often find myself thinking about the university’s past as I am walking to class.  Comparing a photograph of the World War II-era Cadet Training Detachment with a modern photograph of the steps of Kirksey Old Main, however, we see the cadets relaxing in a location that is normally crowded with students today.  Since beginning this project, I’ve become more aware of the history of the ground beneath my feet, and we hope this project does the same for others.

There are several ways to rephotograph, if you are interested in trying it yourself.  We simply printed out some photographs, taped them to a stick, and went outside to take pictures! Other people hold the photograph in their hand, and some use Photoshop to combine the photographs.

Our project is still in its early stages, and will be continuing to evolve as we photograph more locations.  The project’s home will be on our Historypin page, but we also plan on posting the photographs on our other social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.)  We’re hoping to add a new photograph every month, so keep checking in to see how the project grows!

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Also, a quick announcement that we have added the option to ask questions and submit posts to our Tumblr. We would love for people to ask their questions about the history of campus, what goes on in the archives, etc. and to submit content.  Submit photographs of you and your friends when you were a student, pictures from our exhibit space and reading room, or you could even visit us for some photos and try some rephotography of your own! Just be aware that anything you submit may be re-posted to our social media outlets. Below is a screenshot with the “ask” and “submit” buttons circled and pointed out, in case you are technologically challenged like I am.


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