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Photograph as an act: toward information visual education

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This paper is based on the analysis of a few photographs published by El Heraldo de México in 1968 about the student movement. The purpose of this paper is to consider the photograph as an act in which the observer is included. From this point of view, the observer could identify a discursive line of the newspaper and build an independent interpretation. The librarian is an observer.


It is a theoretical description about the objective character of the photographs published by El Heraldo de México in 1968. Considering photography as an act, this paper proposes to empirically identify the whole context of three cases of photographs of the newspaper, as examples.


Based on the contextualized interpretation (or photograph as an act), the photograph is identified as an information object and, therefore, an epistemological object, too. There is a relation between the image and the building of knowledge, through the interpretation of the observer.

Research limitations/implications

There are many studies about cataloguing and classification of images, but there is no study on the theoretical implications. The theory presented in this document comes from the work of other specialists and from other disciplines.

Practical implications

Learning to read visual information is as necessary as reading texts. The visual world waits to be decoded. And the twenty-first-century librarian knows how to organize, preserve and disseminate documentary collections (as photos). Value is how to find, access, decode and build knowledge over them.


In this document, the authors take a position in the library discussion about the image as an information object. Also, this paper promotes development of theoretical studies about this topic by librarians.
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Keywords: El Heraldo de México (newspaper); Information visual education; Movimiento Estudiantil 1968; Photograph; Photography act; Photojournalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Academics of Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México, Mexico

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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