Digital technology is shedding new light on previously hidden information. Nebraska photographer Solomon D. Butcher produced, over the course of nearly forty years, a record of the European settlement of the Great Plains that is both unique and remarkable. These photographs have been used for more than fifty years to study the homesteading experience. Advanced digital imaging technology is now offering a way to see these photographs like they've never been seen before.
Until this glass plate negative was scanned, the information inside the doorway had not been seen since the negative was exposed. Digital imaging technology allows for incredible selective control over light and dark within the image. With image manipulation software it is possible to change the tonal values inside the doorway, revealing previously hidden information.
See the entire image. Unidentified family near West Union, Nebraska, 1886. Solomon D. Butcher, photographer.
Examining the Details in Historic Photographs
There are many advantages to high resolution digital imaging. One of the most interesting is the ability to take a very close look at small details within the original object. Look at the photographs below to see examples of how the Nebraska State Historical Society is using digital imaging technology to learn more about the photograph collections.
Digitization of the Solomon D. Butcher Glass Plate Collection was funded through an award from the Library of Congress and Ameritech.
Learn more about the project.
Help Us Digitize the photograph collections and make them available to you on this website.