First week at work

image Gunnie Moberg: Eider duck nest with eggs in tyre D135/1/1

The egg came first

Week one of what must be one of the most enjoyable jobs – to be working amongst some of your favourite images. The excitement of what the project holds ahead is one emotion that bubbles up and the sheer weight of responsibility that entails is another. Responsibility and excitement – not a bad combination to wrestle with. This blog will allow a glimpse into the process of archiving the photography of Gunnie Moberg, but is more intended as a window into some of the gems in the archive as the work of cataloguing progresses.

I will be working part-time for two years, the first year will be spent immersed in the archive, cataloguing and digitising, all the while thinking about ways to make the most of the archive. Year two, we will be promoting the archive and finding ways to bring this remarkable resource to the people of Orkney and beyond.

slide of the fulmar image with Gunnie's writing on it.

The work has a wide appeal, artistic integrity and cultural significance. This is an archive that will have meaning to many, just like Gunnie Moberg herself.

And what a volume of material. David Mackie has told me that there are around 11,000 slides alone, 6,500 prints and hundreds of negatives. He wrote it down on a piece of paper for me. I’ve been staring at it and the noughts start multiplying.

So an enormous task and one that had to start somewhere. The first image catalogued was this one of an eider duck’s nest in a tyre on the shore. This happened to be the first slide on the first sheet pulled out of the first file, a random choice but what a good place to begin. All the hope of an egg and the life it contains.

Rebecca Marr, Gunnie Moberg Archive project worker.

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