How do photographs shape memory and identity from 1900 to 1969?


With the expansion of travel in the twentieth century, professional photographs of tourist destinations circulated as popular souvenirs that were published in books or as cards that could be pasted into albums or sent through the mail.

At the same time, a growing number of amateur photographers began documenting both unique life events and everyday experiences with snapshots that were typically arranged in albums. With photographs and scrapbooking tools in hand, individuals could exert increasing control over the visual presentation of their memories and identities. 

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During this period, photography continued to be used as an authoritative and scientific tool to codify and categorize the identities of others, as exemplified by the use of photography for identification cards and mug shots. Aside from shaping and codifying individual identities, group portraits also contributed to the formation of collective identity. 

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