Earhart at The Eastman

Talk about reaching for the skies!

The Eastman Museum has made the move to modernise its classic collection by digitizing—or photographically reproducing a staggering 250,000 of its most iconic items!.

Famous for its comprehensive collection of photographs, the Eastman Museum plays a prominent role in the preservation and exhibition of work from over 8,000 photographers. Located on the estate of collector George Eastman—the founder of Kodak and a “pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film”—in Rochester, New York, the innovative institution was founded in 1947 to promote conservation and engage, educate, and entertain its audiences.

Spanning the decorative arts, film, photography, technology, and advertising, the museum’s collection is composed of an eclectic range of one-of-a-kind objects—many of which are now available at the click of a mouse. From antique cameras and lenses to moving images and photographs, each digitally documented piece chronicles the collection’s long and important history. Easily accessible and beautifully captured, the database is a perfect platform for conducting research, casually browsing, or even virtually “visiting” the museum.

Yet this is only the beginning. They are aiming to digitise their entire collection—consisting of 400,000 photographs and negatives, 28,000 motion picture films, 3 million cinematic objects, and 16,000 technology-related pieces—the museum will be adding new pieces every week until its digital archive is complete.

This fills me with admiration and excitement but also raises a huge question in my head. This is living history. Who is going to be able to get their hands on all the digital images we are all continually storing away on phones and cameras. I couldn't tell you the last time I had a roll of film developed or made any prints from my memory card.

It's actually making me want to run out and buy a disposable camera this weekend...

Queen Marie

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