The past couple of weeks while we’ve been waiting on our library director Mr. Jeff Thompson to finish editing the footage of our oral history with Bob Gross, I’ve been helping with another project at the Historical Commission. (To read more about my original oral history project, check out this post!)
This ongoing project is scanning, editing, and archiving the photo collection of Weona Cleveland. Weona Cleveland is a local journalist and historian whose articles about Brevard County history first appeared in the Melbourne Times in the 1970s and later in the Florida Today newspaper. She first came to Brevard from Atlanta, Georgia in 1961 and has spent over 40 years writing articles and researching local history.
Some of Weona’s accomplishments include:
- Writing for the Indian River Journal (A publication of the Brevard County Historical Commission)
- Authoring several books including: Melbourne: A Century of Memories (1980), Crossroad Towns Remembered: A Look Back at Brevard and Indian River Pioneer Communities (1994), A Historical Tour of Melbourne (1999), and Mosquito Soup (2014)
- Researching and writing the text for historical markers in Melbourne and Eau Gallie
- Receiving the Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award from Florida Technical Institute for her research on Brevard County’s African American community
(To find out more about Weona Cleveland, including about her most recent work Mosquito Soup, please refer to this article on the website of the Florida Historical Society.)
The photos in her collection are now in the archives of the Brevard County Historical Commission. They span a wide range of time periods and subjects and are currently being stored in a series of photo binders.
My task has been to scan these images and edit them for resolution, contrast, and brightness. Since many of these photos are old while some are copies of originals, they have varying editing needs. Thankfully, most are able to produce high quality, digital images using the computer and scanner at the library.
The next task is organizing the photos into digital files with appropriate names to identify the subject of the image and any other pertinent information (such as dates and locations provided on the back of the photo).
While I’ve enjoyed working with the oral history video footage, I’ve found working with these old photographs to also be rewarding. I enjoy finding the right balance of contrast and brighting to create the best looking image. At some point in the near future, the Historical Commission will begin using a digital archiving software called “Past Perfect” to inventory and make the photo collections housed at the library available online. (Once again, the future is digital!)
Thus, the scanning and digital editing of these photos, especially the valuable photos in the Weona Cleveland collection, is a really important task!
I’m glad to change things up and get exposure to a new type of project at the Historical Commission while I wait to finish editing Bob Gross’s oral history.
Now, without further ado, please enjoy a selection of some of my favorite photos from the Weona Cleveland collection: