Ypsilanti History in Photographs: An Update on the Digital Photo Archive Project
Author: Debi Hoos-Lemke
The Digital Photo Archives Project, the collaborative project between the Ypsilanti Historical Society and the University of Michigan Library’s Digital Library Production Service, has grown again. Over the last year, 150 additional photographs have been added to the database.
How the Project Works: The Ypsilanti Historical Society selects photographs from its archives collection of historical photographs, researches the photographs, enters them in the database and scans a copy. The database and the scanned photographs are then transferred to CDs and delivered to the Digital Library Production Service at the University of Michigan. The DLPS uploads everything to the website, which makes the photographs and information accessible to everyone free of charge. To view the photographs, go to our website, http://www.ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org, click on publications, then Photo Archives. Alternatively, you can go to the University of Michigan Library’s website and access the database directly at http://www.lib.umich.edu/ypsilanti-historical-society-photograph-archives.
The Photo Archives project is a diverse collection covering all aspects of Ypsilanti history. The earliest photographs in the collection are from the 1850s. Subjects covered range from people, automobiles, trains, planes, events, buildings, school and colleges, organizations, cemeteries and much more. This article highlights six of the photographs in the collection and the Winter GLEANINGS will highlight another six photographs.
Photo 1: In 1938 the American Legion sponsored a Fourth of July parade in Ypsilanti, featuring the Washtenaw County Drum Corps. This photograph was donated by Laura Catherine (Oakes) Newcomb who was a local resident and amateur photographer.
Photo 2: The July 1923 Ypsilanti Centennial celebrating the city of Ypsilanti’s 100th anniversary. John S. Miller took this photograph of the Rotary and Kiwanis officers arriving by stage coach from Detroit. The stage coach was driven from Detroit City Hall to Ypsilanti on the old territorial road, now Michigan Avenue. As they passed through Dearborn they were high-jacked and forced to attend a banquet in their honor before continuing on to Ypsilanti. The Photo Archives collection also contains more than 50 photographs of the Centennial Celebration.
Photo 3: This photograph, taken by G.E. Waterman, dates back to 1893 when the city of Ypsilanti was hit by a cyclone. The cyclone did significant damage, including the damage shown in this photograph to the west side of Huron North to Pearl Street. The collection has more than 50 photographs of this significant event in Ypsilanti history.
Photo 4: A B24 comes home to Willow Run Airport in February 1946, following completion of its World War II duties. The crew of #139 is welcomed by the members of the Edsel Ford American Legion
Photo 5: This photograph of the James Gass Family was taken in 1835. Standing: Cynthia, East, Lydia, Rebecca, North; Seated: James Gass, South West, Kittie and Velora, (Mrs. Gass).
Photo 6: A studio photograph of the Class of 1892 of the Michigan State Normal Conservatory in Ypsilanti. The young women are identified as follows: Mary A. Dickinson (piano); Minnie Wilber (pipe organ); Nora C. Babbitt (voice); Oriska M. Worden (voice); Avonia Dawson (piano); Abba Owen (violin); Bertha Day and Georgia M. Cheshire (piano).(Mrs. Gass).
(Debi Hoos-Lemke is a student in the Archival Administration Program in the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University. She is serving an Internship in the YHS Archives.)
If you have photographs you would like to donate to the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives or have questions about the digitization project, please contact Al Rudisill at email@example.com.