Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

Akerlund Studio Glass Plate Scanning Project

  • Project Overview
  • Project Details
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from Akerlund Studio glassplate negative
Positive image from glassplate negative

Project Overview

Recipient: Cokato Historical Society

The grant allowed the Cokato Historical Society to hire a vendor to scan 817 8x10 glass plate negatives from the Gust Akerlund Photographic Studio's negative collection, housed at the Cokato Museum. The total size of the Akerlund Negative Collection is 14,017 images. Of that amount, 11,552 are of the rare and fragile glass plate negative variety.

These images provide a photographic chronicle of the people of the Cokato area for most of the first half of the twentieth century. The 14,017 negatives which comprise the collection cover all the stages of life of the area's residents, including birth, youth, confirmation, graduation, marriage, family, business, entertainment, social functions, and finally death. This collection is one of the largest held in any local history museum in the state to come from a single source.

Due to the fragile nature of the glass plate negatives, along with the 2465 acetate and nitrate negatives, the Cokato Historical Society is continually looking for ways to maintain proper access to those images, while still adhering to acceptable collections management principles. Digitization is an appropriate step to preserve that balance.

By engaging in digitization, one major lasting impact of the project will be continued and improved access to the collection by staff and the public. At the same time they are minimizing handling of the original negatives, many of which are over 100 years old. Having digital copies will also make reproductions much more simple. Many of the prints made from the negatives have degraded over the last twenty years to the point that they no longer create usable scans for reproduction. Digital files will resolve that.

Project Details

To create digital user copies of 817 8x10 glassplate negatives from the Gust Akerlund Photography Studio Collection

Fund Availability:

02/08/2010 - 08/01/2010

Legal Citation / Subdivision
LAWS of MINNESOTA for 2009 Ch. 172, Art. 1, Subd. 4 (b), Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants

Appropriation Language
(b) Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. (i) $2,250,000 in 2010 and $4,500,000 in 2011 are appropriated for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grants process. The Minnesota Historical Society shall administer these funds using established grants mechanisms, and with assistance from the advisory committee created herein.

Funding Amount: $4,494

Amount of Other Funds Leveraged $650

Project Manager

Mike Worcester

175 Fourth Street West, PO Box 686
Cokato, MN 55321

Subject: History

Administering Agency

Minnesota Historical Society

Quick Facts

Project Type: Grants

Recipient: Cokato Historical Society

Funding Amount: $4,494

Appropriation Years: 2010

Activity Type: Grants/Contracts

Counties Impacted: Wright

MN Senate District: 18

MN House District: 18B

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.