Digitizing Zion’s Analog Photo Collection
Of the park museum’s collection of 300,000 treasured documents, photographs, oral histories, slides, and maps, less than 3% (9,000 images) are digitized. Zion’s paper assets visually document a wide range of historically significant people, places, and events and include 100 year-old photo collections taken at the time the park was founded. Without a digital copy of key records, the park’s memories are only accessible to Zion’s small curation team. In their current paper state, they are difficult to search, organize, share, and enjoy.
This gift to the Zion archives will produce high-resolution scans that will forever protect more than 2000 of Zion’s historic images, including 1930s photographs of the Zion Lodge (ZION-823), hand-tinted glass lantern slides created during the 1920s (ZION 13004), and a collection of photos taken by George A. Grant (ZION 12366), the first photographer for the National Park Service. In addition, this funding gives the park curator capacity and resources to develop a long-term, park-wide plan for digital asset management. Once scanned, these images will be shared on NPGallery, the National Park Service’s open-source repository of digital assets, allowing guests and researchers to virtually visit and experience historic Zion.