The Records Management and Archives Program is jump-starting our blog and social media platforms this winter and spring, and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to write a post about myself as kind of an introduction and an open offer to contact me if you ever want or need anything in the world of records management.

Aerial view of Yeoh Shops during construction
Aerial view of Yeoh Shops during construction
 I started working at the County in September of 2013 and was brought on to fill some of the void produced when our previous Records Administrator and Officer, Dwight Wallace, retired.  Previously I worked at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center and Oregon Health & Science University in their Historical Collections & Archives. At both institutions I worked in the Archives and processed collections, created digital content and exhibits, created physical archives exhibits and worked in various systems to make the historical and cultural heritage of the people of the Pacific Northwest more visible and accessible. 

 That leads me to what I hope to accomplish with Multnomah County.  In addition to helping set retention schedules for our public records, consulting on records keeping and maintaining statistics for the records center I am passionate about access to public information.  One of the most important aspects of Records Management is that it has the ability to create bridges in communities and inspires trust between the public and the individuals and groups who work on the public's behalf.

Enough about me. No good blog post exists without some kind of visual to entice the reader or provide context to the topic at hand. For this post I wanted to share one of my favorite document or records types with you. Yes, this could be boring, however, one of my favorite document types is the mighty Aerial Photograph! One of the aerials I am sharing today is a construction shot of the Yeon Shops located at 1620 SE 190th Ave and is the current location of the Multnomah Archives and Records Management program. The other one is a shot of the Rocky Butte Jail from May of 1976. The Yeon Building is the current home of the Archives and Records Management Program, so I wanted to include something "close to home."

Before jumping into some technical details about aerial photographs, I want to share this interesting resource at the County. The County maintains a Building Locator webpage with a location information about each County building.

Aerial, Rocky Butte, May 1976
Aerial, Rocky Butte, May 1976

The search functions for the site are pretty good, including Keywords, Building Names and Numbers. Some pages have more granular detail than others and can include property management information, historical data and building schematics, maps and plans. And now on to the aerials. 

Aerials provide the type of photographic context that can be hard to find in other types of ground-level series. Changes over time in substantial public works projects can alter a familiar landscape in ways that can be hard to see from the street level. Additionally, aerials can help chart urban development, road systems and can be useful in seeing how physical barriers can lead to social and community issues.

The aerials in this blog are very basic, composed of the image as taken from a camera operated by a photographer in an airplane. Furthermore, the aerial is at an oblique, therefore providing an angled view of the site. Another common type of aerial is the aerial survey. Aerial surveys are typically taken using specialized equipment facing directly down from the plane. In many cases the pilot can operate the photographic equipment as well as fly the plane. The type of photographic equipment takes direct, overhead shots that record altitude, roll number or series, shot number or series and the scale. Aerial surveys are commonly, regularly used in surveying, mapping, land use and property development.