Photograph Preservation

Rehousing of the GBL Photographic Collections

A team of GBL staff, interns, and volunteers are currently working on a preservation project to rehouse the lab’s photographic collections. These include over 12,000 prints, 9,000 negatives, and 8,000 slides. Spanning most of the history of photography, these collections include both black and white and color images in multiple sizes and formats including glass-plate negatives, nitrate and safety negatives, slides, and prints. The images depict artifacts, excavations, and the history of archaeological work in Indiana and the Midwest since the early 1900s. 

Many of these early images had not been stored in controlled environmental conditions prior to the construction of the Glenn Black Lab in 1971, with most having been stored at the Angel Mounds site. Since then, they had been housed in boxes, sleeves, and storage cabinets that do not meet current archival standards. With the support of an NEH Media Preservation Assistance Grant, we are now in the process of rehousing the entire historic image collection and will be using freezer storage to curb further deterioration of these materials. 

Many of this images are also being digitized and can be viewed through Indiana University's Image Collections Online repository.