This fall, the New Hampshire Institute of Art published a first selection of 22 images from its Thom Adams Photograph Collection on Shared Shelf Commons. The collection, a gift from 2011, includes around 300 original photographic prints by world class photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries belonging to collector, photographer, and New Hampshire resident Thomas L. Adams. The collection is being released in batches as it gets digitized, cataloged, and cleared for publication.
The Thom Adams Photograph Collection is made up largely of works that explore lifestyles, customs, and human relationships through portraiture, figurative studies, documentary photography, and street photography. Photographers represented in the collection include Annie Leibovitz, Todd Webb, George Platt Lynes, and Steve McCurry, as well as many lesser known artists.
A student intern from the Photography program has photographed 233 of the prints to date, shooting and editing raw photographs to be uploaded into the Shared Shelf project. Once uploaded, staff enter descriptive, technical, and administrative metadata into each image record in preparation for publication.
The Teti Library began investigating media management systems in 2014 with the goal of making images of this collection discoverable online as a way of facilitating research and scholarship about the collection and increasing awareness of its holdings. In addition to promoting use of the digital images, they hope that onsite use of the collection will increase.
The Teti Library is leveraging Shared Shelf’s iterative publishing capabilities as part of this effort, choosing to publish small batches of images as the cataloging is completed, rather than waiting until the entire collection is fully cataloged.This allows the collection to immediately enjoy the increased exposure afforded by Shared Shelf Commons and it will increase awareness of the digitization project among those interested in subsequent batches of images, as progress is made.
Similarly, publication to Shared Shelf Commons allows the images to be discoverable alongside the content in the Artstor Digital Library, which is used for image research by the NHIA campus community. The strategic publishing of the Thom Adams Collection maximizes discovery and access for the collection to both on- and off-campus audiences.
Included in the currently published collection are 22 black-and-white images by 22 different photographers that capture portraits, landscapes, architectural details, surreal interiors, and street scenes.
We will continue to touch base with this project as future batches of images become available–stay tuned!