Monday, April 20, 2009

So for the past few months I have been working on rehousing the Eiteljorg's entire Edward S. Curtis photogravure collection. What is a photogravure you ask? Click on the link to find out.

These delicate images were being housed in their original portfolios, as seen here:

These portfolios, with three gate folds, have gold stampings on the side with the number of the image series (i.e. 1-16 or so). Each case holds about 35 images, featuring a table of content with Curtis' original comments on selected photos. These were published in the early 1900's, and most of these were purchased by Harrison Eiteljorg throughout his expansive period of collecting. The museum also owns many multiple copies, and some photographs were purchased to "fill in" for missing photos, which Harrison, or other collectors, acquired over the years.

The portfolios are stored in a stacked shelved unit in a temperature controlled environment, known as The Vault, where all objects are housed unless on display.

I am taking these images out of their original portfolios and rehousing them in archival boxes. Many of the photogravures are also matted from exhibition at the museum, and these will be reorganized to meet organizational standards involving safe storage, preservation, and accessibility.

And, to save time, I have taken these images from the Library of Congress' Edward S. Curtis website, since his images have lost their copyrights. I am downloading these high res images and uploading them into our TMS system, giving proper credit to the LOC. This saves the Eiteljorg time and money from photographing over 700 photogravures. The only images we are photographing are those not listed on the LOC website (less than a handful) and those that show signs of conservation concerns.

So, here are some images of my project, involving the rehousing of the pieces. It is yet to be completed and will be finished in the Fall upon my return to Indianapolis.

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The portfolio upon opening. 

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The content page with Curtis' text.

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Here is a photogravure in its new home, an archival box. Upon finishing a box, I place the content sheet on top, with tissue, and then we leave it up to Amy on what to do with the original portfolios. Sometimes I wonder if they should even be accessioned? Makes me wonder what gets accessioned or not, in regards to accessories to collections? If that makes sense...?

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Up close. I don't know the name of this image, sorry!

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And here it is, safe and sound.

Eventually I'll have images of the final collection housed. But, you get to anxiously wait until the Fall.

I did get all the images in the computer though, so that's exciting!

Ok, back to my finals!


  1. Did you ever imagine that you'd be a boxer when you grew up? :)

    Yes, get those papers and projects done for finals!

  2. Oh, yeah, oneotaljz is Larry Z in case you couldn't guess...

  3. I didn't realize that you were working on this project (I mean I did, but I didn't know what these were)

    We've been getting these from the Eiteljorg at the frame shop for the past couple years, and I've been matting them for the display. (Not all of them, just the most recent ones)