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slide storage

THS Archives Awarded a Historical Records Preservation Grant

Theatre Historical Society was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB) to purchase archival envelopes and boxes to re-house photographic slides, negatives and transparencies.  This grant project will focus on the photographic transparencies and negatives in the Collections, specifically the Michael Miller Slide Collection, Bill Benedict Slide Collection, THS Slide Collection, and THS Negative Collection. The project will be carried out in stages over the next nine months. 

The slides (primarily 35mm) are housed in metal and cardboard slide boxes and the negatives (primarily 4×5” but also 35mm an 8×10”) are housed in metal file cabinets.  Approximately 2/3 of the negatives are already in archival envelopes and only need archival boxes.  Approximately 1/3 of the negatives are in non-archival envelopes and will need both archival envelopes and boxes.  Several of the smaller slide collections (Jack Tillmany, Edward Gibbs, and Eric Ellis Collections) have already been re-housed in archival boxes.  By re-housing the Michael Miller Slide Collection, Bill Benedict Slide Collection, THS Slide Collection, and THS Negative Collection all of the processed photographic collections will be properly housed.  The Michael Miller Slide Collection consists of approximately 10,000 35mm slides which are primarily color images taken by Miller from the 1960s to early 1990s. The Bill Benedict Slide Collection consists of approximately 2,700 35mm slides which are primarily color taken by Benedict from the 1960s to early 1990s. The THS Slide Collection consists of approximately 15,000 slides primarily color 35mm, but also including odd size and black and white images as well. This collection was accumulated by THS from various photographers (many early THS members) primarily in the 1960s to late 1990s and comprised of images from the 1950s to 1990s.  

The Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB) awarded Historical Records Preservation Grants to ten Illinois historical records repositories to develop and/or carry out projects to identify, preserve, access and use historical records in Illinois. Funding for the ISHRAB Historical Records Preservation Grant program was provided by a State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).  The NHPRC, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports projects that promote the preservation and use of America’s documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture. To see the other Illinois grant recipients, go to the Illinois Secretary of State’s page: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/ishrab/grantswinners.html

2 Comments

  1. Joe Nutting

    I trust that the purchase of the slides includes any copyrights that exist in connection therewith. Also, presumably, you have considered the alternatives for digitizing all of the slides. With a bit of imaginative editing and arranging, several commercially viable DVD’s might be generated.

  2. Kathy McLeister

    The grant is to re-house the slides and negatives, not purchase new collections. For the most part, these collections have been donated by the photographer and THS holds the copyright. Currently they are housed in acidic envelopes and/or boxes (which can leach into the materials) and/or in file cabinets which do not provide adequate support (which can lead to creases and warping). Also, I would like to digitize the images, but it is a very time intensive process and is not part of this grant project. Further, while digitization may increase access to collections, it is not considered preservation. Even if we digitized the images, we will still need to care for the originals. Some day down the road we hope to have more images available on our website and spin off projects (like dvds, postcards, etc.) may come along once more images are digitized.

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