I recently learned of an amazing new trove of photographs of the Salem Limestone, the most commonly used building stone in the United States. The collection is held by the Indiana Geological Survey and comes from the Indians Limestone Quarrier. From the early 1900s through the 1980s, the company had a staff of professional photographers who detailed all aspects of the building process. They took around 12,000 black and white photographs, each of which is mounted on linen. Fortunately, the photographs are labeled with information on location, owner, date of construction, builder, and architect.
The IGS says the photographs constitute a “hidden collection,” since none were accessible to the public. They hope to change this by making the photographs available. After having the photographs for several months, they have put up two nifty web sites with pictures and geographic information. It’s a great beginning for the collection. They are hoping to stabilize, clean, and digitize the collection and eventually create a more thorough and interactive web site in the future. I hope they succeed.
Here are the links to the sites.