The illustrative function of images enables to complete texts. Images and texts must go hand in hand – written material on its own, especially in our predominantly visual era, can often fail to convey the desired message; but images and more precisely archival images can be misunderstood if no text is added to place them in context. The image must be described with accuracy to be valuable and reusable in another context. In the field of contemporary history, a new kind of iconographic document emerged: ‘ego-documents’ [Claire Zalc]. They come from private archives and enriched documentary sources by completing the traditional use of archival images. Collects are organised (cf. Europeana) and make people participating in creating new sources for the study of history. What kind of challenges do we face with the use of this kind of documents? Do they have the equal weight in comparison to traditional archival images? The presentation will focus on an analysis of documents from collections of historical photographs.
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