Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Project update

As I have written I'm working on the 1896 expedition and related projects about Mount Rainier, such as the field work associated with the first USGS topographic map 1915, early photographers (1890-1900) working in and around Mount Rainier, and other historic subjects to expand the knowledge and understanding of the visitor's or photographer's experience.

In addition to this I'm working on additional information Web pages about the NP, such as forests, glaciers, backcountry hikes, snowshoing, winter activities, etc. In short, there's not a loss of ideas for new Web pages for the variety of interests of photographers and visitors to the NP, including detailled help pages on the five different areas, four quadrants and Paradise, and routine news and reports on conditions and photo opportunities.

On top of all that, all of the work requires the Website with all its work, not just the routine operation and maintenance, but the ever on-going learning about my computer, software applications, and so on. We know that cycle. I've added so much stuff to the Website, considering designing and developing version 3.0 is in the future, almost way in the future, or until I find a design or an idea to do the work sooner.

If you add all this up, it's the adage about finding time when I also want to focus on my photography work, especially with the 4x5 camera which I don't get enough time with. Add life itself, you know those errands, problems and issues that find you no matter where you are or what you're doing, and always instantly change your life.

This isn't new to almost everyone (exceptions to those who sit there and say, "I'm bored.", like my father who wasted a retirement into severe health problems, but that's another story), so I'm preaching to the choir. I'm just glad I have found and enjoy interests where the only real problem is time. Everything else is about balance and focus to do the work.

Ok, enough about the effort, what's the result so far?

Well, I've managed to find most the maps, either in their original form or later variants, of Mt. Rainier NP from the first in 1880 to the 1920's and the second generation USGS topographic map in 1935, after the boundary changes. This includes NPS maps and maps published in books or pamphlets. I have all in digital image format, and printed, except the 1935 topo map which is an original edition print.

I've located most of the photographers working in and around Mt. Rainier NP from 1890 to the early 1900's. I haven't researched those before 1890 as there were only a fewl. I used 1890 cutoff as it was the date of the first negative emulsion film made by Kodak and other companies and because the photos in the 1898 report were taken from about 1894 to 1898 by those who worked from about 1890 to after 1900.

I've found original edition books and reports of the pre-NP and early post-NP years. I'm still working on pamphlets for the period 1900-1930 with only a few to date, but it includes visitors guides by the NPS. Some of these had the maps of the NP and various access, trails and facilities. The reports include the 1898 Expedition Report with the Geology chapger and the 1900 report about the Mt. Rainier Forest Reserve, an assessment of the timber resources of the reserve before the designation of the NP, both with photos and maps.

I'm still searching for archives and through archives for material specifically relating to or about the expedition. Found to date are copies of the original field notes by G.O. Smith noting rock samples and geology during the summers of 1895 and 1896. I've managed to find the material by Bailey Willis with letters and unpublished manuscripts. Missing in the search so far are the archives of Israel Russell.

Ok, that said, what's in the future?

Well, for one the table of contents lists a number of "forthcoming" or "in progress" chapters which will be new or updated Web pages of information with maps and on-line material. This includes a number of topics of interest to photographers and visitors and some of interest to me to present (do you think I'd do the homework and not show it?). And some topics on the always full todo list are Web pages for air quality, historic mines (little seeable today), and early photography (1880-1900).

As they said, "If anything changes, I'll keep you posted."

No comments: