Now, those thousands of images, some 19th century, but mostly 20th-century -- everything from landscapes to
Museum staff and volunteers have been able to process, scan and put online 8,000 photos -- and another 1,000 photos are being processed, said
And they've barely started.
'Everything goes online'
Ingram said there are literally "tens of thousands of images" and that the project will take many more years to complete. Their goal is to put absolutely everything online, which is unique, he said.
"I can't think of any other place (that has put) the entire archives on," said Ingram, former curator of the
Usually things are weeded out, only giving a sampling of various categories, he said. But not this archives -- everything goes up, even an image or two that might be uncomfortable for some people.
He said there is a photo of a program put on by a private kindergarten in 1936 -- back when the
"What do you do with this? We have it. It's part of our history," Ingram said, and so it's going in.
There is one thing the project is short of: photos of American Indian life.
"I'm not sure people are aware we're actively seeking pictures for the collection," he said.
"A lot of people aren't aware we're here," he said about the museum center, at
Where did the photos come from?
Ingram said thousands of prints and negatives were donated from the longest-running photography studio in
The studio was run by Osborns until the mid-1970s, when a
The museum received about the same amount of photos from the
Other photo donations have come from families, schools, businesses and other sources.
You never know what you'll find
People should take note that the photography studios' donations may include photo proofs not picked nor purchased by the customers, said
Belden suggested that if someone has a photo of grandma from
Speaking of grandma, Belden related a discovery of his own, thanks to audio found in the archives.
Belden didn't know that his grandmother,
"It blew my mind," he said.
From the interview, he now has new information -- such as how she met her husband and the name of her camel.
But the former circus camel had a bad end when someone left a gate open and he wandered away.
Unfortunately, he was waiting on the tracks that day, not near the tracks,
Other audio and written transcripts of interviews from former residents are also being put into the archives.
Ingram said they could use some more volunteers for the online-archive project. They also need people to help identify people and places in the photos, and that time is of the essence.
"The number of people who remember the fifties and sixties is getting smaller," he said.
Ingram said a major funding source for the project has been the ongoing sale of some of the more stunning shots put on canvas. The museum has some of those on display. There are also monitors showing 800 photos that haven't yet been put into the archives, Ingram said.
In other news, the museum, which has free admission and is open daily from
For more information, go the
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