This practicum workshop will explore ways historians can organize and describe their research photos and introduce new approaches to research using digitization and metadata. Our primary focus will be Tropy, a free and open source tool built by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Tropy features customizable metadata templates to allow researchers to tailor the information they record about each of their sources, either individually or in batches. Flexible tags and lists provide multiple ways to organize sources. A notes field allows for transcription or research notes to attach directly to photos, or to selections in a photo. Tropy is able to export to Omeka, a free and open source online platform for digital collections and exhibits, as well as to a flat JSON-LD file that can be used for data analysis.
Whether you choose to use Tropy or not, this workshop will highlight best practices for taking photos in the archives and considerations for how you use those photos and how this form of digital research could transform both your workflow and approach to research. No experience with Tropy is necessary; participants should bring a laptop.