Number Crunching: It All Adds UpJanuary 9, 2013
When I arrived at the Eagle Valley Library District in 2006, I found a beautiful legacy collection of historical photos collected by the Eagle County Historical Society. For the most part, they were photographs of photographs, enlarged and printed as 8×10 inch pictures. Each enlargement was in a plastic sleeve and they were stacked in a filing cabinet. There were paper indexes [indices for those of us who have been around a while] and photocopies for access.
With software and equipment support from the Library District, digitization began in the fall of 2006. The end result is an online presence for these wonderful images, searchable by keyword, subject and name.
The first two years of scanning and uploading images focused on that legacy collection. Mike Johnson, ECHS, was doing the bulk of the scanning and by February 2008, there were 2,000 images online.Each week, new single photos or entire collections would wander in, either from the Historical Society or by people contacting the library directly. As people became aware of our website and realized that we could scan their images and return them, more and more material arrived. Some of the items came in photograph format and some digital images via email. We also added photos that the Library District or the Historical Society took to document historic occasions, such as the Nicholas Buchholz Memorial Service at Sunset View Cemetery, Eagle, in June 2007.
It was interesting to note that in 2012, 24 new collections and a lot of documentation were added to our database. Some of the names attached to these contributions are: E. A. Michael, Rockwood Family (via Mary Lou Albert via Kathy Heicher), Lewis Family (via Susie Ross, ), Mary Jo Gerard, Mary Lou Albert (via Kathy Heicher), Bob and JoAnn Riggle, Byron Stanley, Bob Shelton, Moreen Perkins, Barbara Pearch (via Louise Walker), Buddy Doll, Gates Family, Diana Cisneros, Theodore Beck, Pam Boyd, Dumph Family, Iva Laman, Mary Frances Bayer Baldo, Dessie Tomlin Beck and Jack Beck (via Angela Beck), Waldo Family, Bearden Family (via Edith Lederhause), Dick and Shirley Fessenden, Jimmy Blouch, Stu Dykstra, Charles Leggiero, Barb Smith and the Town of Red Cliff, and Kelly Stone Bissell.
As of January 9, 2013, almost 7 years since this project began, there are 5,000 historical images online. The 5,000th photo is of Broadway St. in Eagle in the 1930s from the Ping-DeGraw collection.
A new year always brings resolve to clean up those backlogs while looking forward to new collections. Marching forward to image 6,000….