A unique visual collection

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Back in a previous post I mentioned the work our wonderful conservators do to repair, rehouse and preserve archival materials to ensure that they survive for future generations to enjoy.

Possibly the most unique and unusual part of the material that will be catalogued and made available as part of the ‘Towards Dolly’ project is the collection of nearly 4,000 glass positive slides, dating from around 1900. These slides had previously been stored in large poultry sheds on the site of the Roslin Institute, and depict various plant and animal specimens (pictured), some perhaps from breeding competitions, as well as agricultural, scientific and industrial scenes from around the world. Quite a find!

Considering their age and their conditions of storage, the slides were in remarkably good condition, apart from around 200 which were badly damaged and cracked. This is where our conservators come in: Caroline and her assistant Anna (pictured) have been working hard over the past month or so to repair and rehouse these damaged slides, replacing the cracked glass, providing a robust frame for each slide to sit in and housing the slides in new boxes.

At present we have little idea what this slide collection may have been used for, or to whom they belonged. Later on in the project, Rare Books Cataloguer Kristy will be cataloguing these slides and we hope to eventually make them available digitally as a valuable resource not just for scientific research but also for historical, sociological and visual and artistic studies.

If anyone has any idea about these slides, or would like to know more about them, do get in touch!

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2 thoughts on “A unique visual collection

  1. Hi – I’ve just found your blog via the July edition of Broadsheet – I really like this post in particular, those glass slides are great and I love that you used a slideshow to show more behind the scenes pictures.

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