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Grand Rapids Public Library photograph collection

 Collection
Identifier: Collection 054

Scope and Contents

Photographs have been collected by the Grand Rapids Public Library since the early 1920s. Geographic scope for the bulk of the collection is Grand Rapids. There is some coverage of Kent County and the surrounding area. A few family photos may include other locations.

The collection contains a wide variety of images. It is strong on Grand Rapids history, as well as lumbering, social activities and parades. There are many unique images in this collection, but there is some overlap with other archival collections and/or published sources.

Dates

  • circa 1837-2011

Biographical / Historical

The photos in this collection are originals and copies. In many cases, the source of the item has been lost, and along with that the potential for further identification of the image dates and content. Also, the source, and thus legal copyright, of many of the copied images is unknown. A series of accession numbers has been attached to this collection, but there was no attempt, at the time of original processing, to maintain the provenance with the individual item. Some of this information is being reclaimed with research within the accession records, but much of this information is lost.

The photos in this collection have been acquired and managed by a succession of people and departments in the Library through the years. As with other Archives throughout the country, accession documentation procedures, copy procedures, handling, housing and other photo management procedures, have improved over time.

Because of extensive copying and recopying of originals over the years, many of the images in this collection duplicate those in other collections currently in both the library and Grand Rapids Public Museum. Generally it is not possible to tell which image is closer to the original.

Extent

32 Linear Feet (Approximately 60 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The Grand Rapids Public Library has been collecting photographs since the early 1920s. This is a devised collection of photographs focusing on the Grand Rapids (Mich.) area. The geographic scope is usually limited to Grand Rapids, Kent County and counties contiguous to Kent County. The collection contains a wide variety of images, including people, scenes and buildings. It is strong on Grand Rapids history, as well as lumbering, social activities and parades.
Title
Finding Aid for the Grand Rapids Public Library photograph collection
Status
Completed
Author
Richard H. Harms, Martha Bloem
Date
1988
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503 USA