A lifetime of photography produces more than a million prints, negatives, slides, and other images -- fiber and cyber, paper and pixels.
Maintaining order in the Art Shay collection enables the photographer and writer to sustain a strong schedule of exhibits, books and lectures. A self-taught archivist, Erica DeGlopper, has been responsible for establishing order in the Shay collection and now she is winning some recognition.
Kate Theimer, author of Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections, notes on her blog Archives Next that the most recent trade group publication, Archival Outlook, "has an article describing the work of the admirable citizen archivist, Erica DeGlopper, who took responsibility for the Art Shay photography collection." Theimer includes DeGlopper in a list of citizen archivists, "people who take responsibility for carrying out archival functions for records or papers that are either their own personal property or which are currently not under the custodianship of an archives or archivist."
As the work of decades is organized, Art Shay has shown more curated collections, including his color work in a recent exhibit at the Thomas Masters gallery, and produced more books, including Chicago's Nelson Algren.
With the attention of Theimer and others who are helping more citizens understand and embrace improved archiving strategies, there will be even more opportunities to find order -- and meaning -- in sprawling collections.