Preserving History: A Look Inside the IMS Photo Digitization Project

Published On December 20, 2010 » 2276 Views» By admin » Blogs, IMS Photo Digitization Project

The IMS Photo Digitization Project is a partnership between Indiana University Libraries and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to preserve historically significant photographs for the enjoyment of future generations. On a basic level, the labor-intensive project involves scanning decomposing images and adding them to a digital archive. Tagging each image with Metadata allows the IMS photo staff to quickly locate specific images for promotional and editorial use– as well for personal enjoyment by fans. Mary Ellen Loscar, Assistant to the Director of Photography, takes fans inside the Digitization project.

We are about to ramp up our efforts to digitize the negative images in the IMS Photo archives. We have slowly but surely been scanning images as needed but we are about to partner with University Library. With their knowledge of archiving and adding the metadata we will be able to start saving these images and making them more available to those who are interested in them.

Some of the older images are starting to deteriorate so this project really is a must. During the 1940’s and 50’s special chemicals used to develop film is now causing the negatives to bubble and crack. We can now scan these images and fix many of the defects with photo-editing software in order to save that image forever. So that is our starting point with the Digitization project, get to the bad ones first.

Damaged Photo from the 1952 Indy 500

Damaged Photo from the 1952 Indy 500

Damaged Photo from the 1952 Indy 500

Digitized Photo of the 1952 Indy 500

Once we get these images in digital form we will then post them to a photo vault for our fans to view. Did you know that you can come to the 2nd floor of the Museum and look at all of the images? I think it is a well kept secret for some, but you are welcome during our regular business hours. Come find the year you first came to the 500 or find a photo of your favorite driver. Remember we have 4 million!]]>


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