organizing information

I am at the point where I have voluminous piles of links, photos, songs, and orders of operation slopping everywhere, as I work with book two of the sixties trilogy. How to organize my research so it is at-hand when I want it, and of-a-piece?

I'm going to experiment with using the blog as a holding tool, a repository of links. I keep it mostly for myself (the blog), as a kind of scrapbook to look back on, so don't mind me if I begin using it as an archive to help me with book two. I can't say how it's going to turn out, this experiment, but I can direct you to pinterest, where I've already started archiving visuals.

Here are my current pinterest boards for book two:

playlist for book two. This is an ongoing list that has been so much fun to put together. I'll do one for Countdown, as well, once I get book two put to bed. This list is in no particular order (although it started out that way). Whenever a song/television show/movie, etc. is mentioned in the narrative text, I can usually find a link on youtube for it. I've tried to find live performances from 1964 or as close to that as possible.

photo pull-file for book two. This is a way for me to have my original picks for photos in one place instead of in a Word document or printed off, or in My Pictures in a folder on my C drive or at dropbox, etc. I like the way pinterest has "endless scrolling." It gives me all photos on one page. I also like its jquery masonry, an architecture that allows the photos to float on the page and nestle together in a way that's easier on the eyes.

corbis lightbox. This is a compilation of the images I have selected so far from Corbis online. Mostly civil rights movement photos and political cartoons, maps, etc. Lots of Library of Congress (loc), American Memory, and various sources, some uncredited that I want to find. Also Matt Herron's Take Stock photos are here.

magnum lightbox. These are Magnum images. Keeping separate lightboxes allows me to more easily create an excel sources file of photos I select for book two, so we can begin the permissions process. Some of these photos are of Birmingham and 1963, but most are Freedom Summer photos.

getty images lightbox. These are fun, lots of World's Fair and advertising and sports, music, movies, cultural stuff from 1964.

AP lightbox. Mostly civil rights and Vietnam.

And a board for Sunny, my main character, who is 12 at this writing. Here is her home. Also a few things about her I've started collecting, visually.

Outside pinterest:

Ken Thompson photos at the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. The photos available online are in a slide show, here. I particularly want the ones at :31 ("White Christian Hippocracy"), at 1;28 ("Keep Our Babies White"), at 1:40 ("Love Everybody"),  at 1:47 ("We love our white brothers; why do they hate us?") at 1:51 (photo of the Klan with young boy), at 2:00 ("A Right that is not Universal is a Privilege"), at 2:03 ("Cast Your Ballot for Freedom"), and, not shown, is a photo of two little girls hanging out the window of the Freedom School. Also one of a kid singing at a mass meeting (these two photos are in my photo pull-out file).

The LBJ Library online photo search is here.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History is here.

The Mississippi Digital Archive is here. Lots of Mississippi Digital Sources.

Ted Polumbaum's Freedom Summer archives are here, at the Newseum.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog is here.

Here are some Greenwood 1964 photos, at the crmvets website. Scroll down. Many are not credited, which is a problem. I'll move these into my photo pull-out file, with a question mark for sources.

Center for Documentary Expression and Art: This Light of Ours.
Just ordered the book and am looking forward to these photos from nine photographers who worked within the movement.

The University of Southern Mississippi's civil rights archive.

I'll stop here for now. I've got so much paper (digital and hard copy), in so many files, and I'm thinking that I can document my research online, right here, as a way for me to gather it all in one place. Did I say that already? I think I did. Time to quit for today.

Here's a terribly un-politically-correct early sixties television ad for Jell-O that I've archived at pinterest on the playlist for book 2 board. I remember it. It pleases me to find it, not the least because there was a large Chinese population in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1964. Many came to help build the railroad and they stayed. Most Chinese children attended the black schools and didn't mix with the white population.


  1. Don't know if you are familiar with Scrivener, but it's PERFECT for organizing everything with your manuscript. I love it.

  2. Thanks, Barbara. No, I'm not familiar with Scrivener, though I've heard people talk about it. Maybe I should check it out. Hope you're well! Thanks again.


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