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Grant number like: PG-52270-14

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Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE 19807-2106)
Laura Allean Wahl (Project Director: May 2013 to April 2016)
Rehousing the J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection

The purchase of archival shelving and the rehousing of the glass plate negatives, oversize prints and lantern slides of the J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection. Originally trained in aerial photography during World War I, Dallin started his own aerial survey company, which photographed the towns, cities, factories, private estates, golf courses, and special events in the Philadelphia metropolitan area from 1924 to 1941. Subjects included Delaware River waterfront industries such as Campbell Soup, Pusey and Jones Shipbuilding, Ford Motor Company, as well as events such as the 1929 baseball World Series at Shibe Park (known later as Connie Mack Stadium) and the burning of the Hindenburg in New Jersey. Besides compiling the first aerial survey map of Philadelphia, Dallin's work charts in detail the growth of the surrounding suburbs and the spatial relationships among different industries, including manufacturing, refineries and food processing, and transport and distribution systems.

The J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection arrived in the Pictorial Collections Department at the Hagley Museum and Library in 1970. The collection of more than ten thousand Philadelphia-area aerial images, taken between 1924 and 1941, has become one of Pictorial's most used collections. It documents an important period of urban and suburban growth in the Delaware Valley region. Local and urban historians, genealogists, urban planners, landscape historians, and others make use of the 8,047 unique photographic prints in the collection and the nearly 7,000 scans that are freely available through Hagley's online Digital Archives. The proposed project addresses the collection's 11,785 glass plate negatives, whose images are at risk due to inadequate storage in acidic boxes and rusted flat files. The project shall: a) box the glass plate negatives, b) box the oversize prints and lantern slides, c) rebox the 8x10 prints, and d) replace the treated-wood shelving with steel shelves.

Project fields:
Economic History; U.S. History; Urban History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

$5,560 (approved)
$5,560 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015