American Museum of Natural History photo archive now online
|Moving section of giant sequoia, 'Big Tree', into Hall of North American Forests, 1912. AMNH Digital Special Collections|
The American Museum of Natural History Research Library announced it has digitized and made available online its entire collection of more than 7,000 historical photographs. This massive archive was previously difficult to access, especially for those not in proximity to New York City.
All of the images can be browsed on the American Museum of Natural History website. The museum used data available from the original collections to create a searchable database of photographs that use the same standard language as the Library of Congress Subject Headings and the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, making them especially useful for anyone with a background in historical archiving.
According to the Museum, its goal was to create digital representatives of the original photographs that maintained their integrity. They scanned the negatives whenever possible and scanned prints only when there were no negatives. Images were scanned with an Epson Perfection V750 pro, metadata and corrections were made in Photoshop and Lightroom, and copies were then exported as TIFF and JPEG.
For a detailed explanation of the procedure used to capture and catalog these images see the Image Digitization: Workflow and Documentation for this project.