Green River Star -

By David Martin

Museum buys collection


The New Studio collection, which contains photos encompassing nearly a century of Sweetwater County’s history, has a new owner.

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum completed the purchase last week, which contains photo equipment and more than 75,000 film negatives from the early 1900s to the mid 1990s.

“I’m glad this is staying together as one collection and will be available to the residents of Sweetwater County,” Brie Blasi, interim director of the county’s museum, said.

Blasi said many similar collections have been split up through sales to collectors and museums, which makes the New Studio collection unique.

Fundraising for the collection’s purchase started last February, when the museum and New Studio Photography negotiated a purchase deal.

The museum received approximately $75,000 in donations from area residents and grants from nonprofit foundations. Some of the largest donations came from the Wyoming Cultrual Trust Fund, the Kim and Jody Brown Family Foundation, the Sweetwater County Historical Society, Sweetwater Board of Cooperative the John W. Hay Jr. Family Fund.

Blasi said the museum plans to digitize and archive the collection, however the grant it submitted to start that process was denied.

Blasi said the result wasn’t surprising because of the grant’s competitive nature and said the museum would resubmit its proposal. Regardless of when the archival processes begins, work involving the 75,000 negatives will take a long time.

Once the process is complete, residents can request reproductions from the archive through the museum’s reproduction policy. Before that, the photos and equipment will be moved into county-owned storage.

To celebrate the collection’s acquisition, Blasi said the museum also plans to host an event featuring selected images from the collection later this fall.


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