Using Digital Technology to Learn More about Our Past
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.
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. Digital imaging technology also allows for incredible selective control over light and dark within the images. High resolution digital images, allow us to through doorways and see details not seen since the negative was exposed. With image manipulation software it is possible to change the tonal values inside the doorway, revealing previously hidden information.
Look at the photographs below to see examples of how History Nebraska is using digital imaging technology to learn more about the photograph collections.
Unidentified Family near West Union, Nebraska, 1886 [RG2608.PH1100]
John Curry homestead near West Union, Custer County, Nebraska, 1886 [RG2608.PH1048]
Sylvester Rawding sod house, north of Sargent, Custer County, Nebraska, 1886
Harvey M. Pickens, Ortello Valley, Custer County, Nebraska, 1889 [RG2608.PH1523.]
The Chrisman sisters near Goheen settlement on Lieban Creek, Custer County, Nebraska, 1886 [RG2608.PH1053]
Grocery store in Overton, Dawson County, Nebraska, 1904 [RG2608.PH2556]
“Grand Pa” Dailey, possibly in Milburn, Nebraska, 1886 or 1887 [RG2608.PH-1036]
Anton Smock and his farm near Oconto, Custer County, Nebraska, 1904 [RG2608.PH-1764]
Frank Moore, Sargent, north Custer County, Nebraska, 1887 [RG2608.PH-1244]