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Hidden Treasures from the Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Progress on the new IMLS grant

We're currently working on an IMLS grant, which involves the digitization of our photographic print collection. This collection consists primarily of the reference photos Rockwell used when creating his works. Our collection of photos encompasses some 60 years, from the early 1900's to the 1970's. There are approximately 200 boxes of photos in total.

That's a lot of boxes of photos, & there are more on the shelves behind these!

For this grant, we are sending the photos away to be scanned so that we can then add them to our digital collections. Every box needed to be sorted through, to avoid selecting duplicates or images that were already available in our digital collections. Once that was done, each photo to be sent out had to be re-sleeved and labeled. As you might imagine, this was quite a lengthy process. We officially started at the end of September and we finished in late March. About 7,500 photos have been sent out so far, and there are many more oddly-sized ones that we'll be scanning in-house.

I couldn't help but feel a huge sense of accomplishment when we finished going through these photos. There's still a lot more work left to do, but it's a big milestone. Of all the photos I looked through, my favorites were the series of photos Rockwell used for several Pan Am ads in the late 1950's. It was quite a lot of fun to look at photos from various foreign locations, such as Thailand, Japan, and Rome.

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