Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions



There are other public libraries who have gotten government grants to have photographer's negative sleeve notes transcribed into captions.  One recent caption we noted on a Columbus, Ohio, late-1940 image noted a train running over the Little Miami River bridge south of Columbus.  Actually, it was taken near the Little Miami Rr and C&O Rwy crossing-tower (LM Cabin) on the Scioto River bridge west of Columbus.  I'm hoping to correct the caption when I purchasing a hi-res scan of this negative.  Lots of times, the head curator has the caption files locked down so only he or she can modifiy them or enter new ones in a batch mode.

We hope to minimize this at the C&O HS archive work sessions by pairing off younger and older members to enter these captions . . . and asking a lot of dumb questions.  The "slave-labor run" system is not perfect.

Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Harding" <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:41:35 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The growing problem of erroneous captions

Two weeks ago I was researching the M&StL at the Mercantile Library in St.
Louis, accessing the Barriger Collection. While going through John
Barriger's photo album of the M&StL photos, I noticed more than a few photo
captions contained errors. While these were not freight car photos, a person
using this collection as a first source of historic value, could come away
with incorrect information in their notes. I mentioned the errors to the
attendant, but had no way of correcting the captions. While I knew the
correct information for the M&StL, the experince made me suspicious of other
"facts" recorded for which I was not familiar. I know, you should always
double check and verify, but sometimes when doing historic research you only
have one source.

As to captions in books and magazines, as an author I have submitted
captions which were not used or edited to where I hardly recognized them. If
the person who does the finally proof reading does not know the subject
matter, well .....

Doug Harding

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