You know that feeling when your phone storage is getting low, and you realize you have 10,000 photos on it, and you keep avoiding going through them to figure out which ones you should keep?
Multiply that by 250, and you’ll have some idea of the daunting task that faced award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston when she acquired Jim Raftery’s vast archive of horse racing negatives, all 300 boxes of them.
In 1998, Livingston acquired her first collection of negatives, those of James W. Sames III. Initially intending to buy one print, she ended up with a big box of negatives, discovering in it photographs of Triple Crown winners War Admiral (1937) and Whirlaway (1941).
“That box was full of history,” said Livingston, who grew up in East Glenville and attended Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake schools before graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in photography. “After that, I was on the lookout for people with collections of negatives that they didn’t know what to do with.”
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