Welcome to another MEET THE ARCHIVES interview. This time we talk to Gunnar Falck, administrative editorial manager of Västerbottens-Kuriren, a Swedish local newspaper founded
in 1900, which is published six days per week, and is located in the northern town of Umeå.
Hello Gunnar, first of all thank you for agreeing to this conversation! To start with, can you tell us a bit about the archive and your photo collection?
We have had employed photographers since the 1950´s, and until the digitization photographic prints were the thing. For many years Västerbottens-Kuriren had an archivist who managed the continuously growing archive. The archive consists of a portrait section and a section for larger photographs.
Since the photos and archive became increasingly digital the analogue archive received less and less love and attention, though still was used when historical material of people and local happenings was needed.
How come you decided to go for the decision to have your photo collection digitized?
Already when the digital archive started growing we discussed having the analogue archive digitized. Several investigations were done regarding this but they all turned out too expensive to excecute. The decision was made to keep the analogue archive and digitize it step by step when old photos were scanned. Not until you contacted us with your proposal of digitizing and keywording the whole analogue collection it became possible to realize.
How will you use the digitized archive?
We will partly use it in the daily news reporting to quickly find relevant images to complete the news coverage with. Partly we plan to use it for several ideas involving old images of infrastructure, happenings, and to highlight important historical happenings in our area.
Does the digitised collection open up new opportunities/ideas for you?
For sure. For example it opens up for younger employees, not familiar with the old analogue photo collection, to faster and easier also use older images. Your offer arrived at the best possible timing! After several re-constructions of our office buildings the analogue archive was pushed further and further away from the headquarters, risking to finally being forgotten about.
The quality of your digital files is excellent, and the few requests for amendments we had were immediately fulfilled.