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San Diego State University is seeking help from the community in identifying thousands of photographs that have landed in their archives without proper notes as to their origin.

“Basically, they were given to the archives by any department or person on campus. There's no documentation with the photograph, so we've got lots of just unidentified-man-at-a-podium kind of photographs or three ladies donating books to the library, but we don't know who the ladies are,” says Lisa Lamont, a digital collection librarian, speaking to the university’s NewsCenter.

One photo, dating to the 1960s, shows a young Bill Cosby munching on a slice of pizza with an unidentified woman, presumably on a college visit. The school is displaying the images on a Flickr account, one batch at a time, hoping that anyone who has info to add will come forward and post comments that might help historians properly catalog the collection.

With the assistance of paid students, it’s hoped all of the unidentified photos will be scanned in by the end of the year, though the task of gathering notes on who and what has been captured is expected to take a great deal longer.

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Visduh May 24, 2012 @ 7:55 p.m.

A great deal longer? Think forever. The longer they go, the less likely it is that they will be identified as memories fade, interest wanes, and folks pass on.


David Dodd May 24, 2012 @ 9:04 p.m.

Actually, this newfangled technology might surprise you. Anyone can take any image in there and do a reverse-look-up. Bet you some are identified that way alone.


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