From The Archives: Wet Plate Collodions

Some time has passed since I’ve posted an update on the process of the archive. Now there are clean, printed, permanent labels that indicate box numbers, record series, sub series and contents (anyone else reading this get excited about record series, too?).
I was happily going down the aisles labeling boxes when I found a collection of Wet Plate Collodions, a very early photographic process dating back to the mid-19th century. Handling them carefully one by one, I realized they were some of the first images ever taken on the Hilltop. Look closely at the greenhouse that used to sit next to Goodhue. Construction of the Chapel. The original library inside of Goodhue with rows of desks adorned with books. Speaking of libraries, the hall in Minot Savage (where our Admissions office currently resides) was a library corridor. The original Grille Room in Philip Savage, that was originally called the “Boys Room”. Some of these places no longer exist and the remaining ones that do, are in some ways quite different from how they look today.

Acknowledging the fragility of these glass plates, I scanned them for access and then rehoused each one in its’ own casing, lining them up in boxes with corrugated board between each. Making these types of materials accessible is one thing but preserving them for years to come is of most priority. Onto the next discovery!

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