Curated by Alicia Zachary-Erickson, Librarian for Public Programming Support
This exhibit provides a behind-the-scenes look at preserving St. Olaf’s historical treasures. To begin viewing the virtual exhibit, click the “Enter the Conserving the Felland Glass Negatives Exhibit” gold button on the photo above.
The Felland Glass Negatives Collection contains over 1,600 glass negatives taken by Ole G. Felland (1853-1938), a St. Olaf College professor (1881-1926) and librarian (1891-1926) during the College’s early years. Felland’s collection of glass negatives is one of the largest of its kind and the variety of subjects documented within it are pivotal to understanding not only the College’s history and development, but the development of a community of new American immigrants. Unique in its content, these informal photos pre-date an era of more casual snapshots; nevertheless, they capture spontaneous activities of daily life in ways rarely seen in contemporary studio portraits. As a photographic enthusiast, Felland captured buildings, celebrations and special events, classrooms, farm work, and family life among the Norwegian-American immigrants who were his neighbors, colleagues and students.
This virtual exhibit highlights the work that was undertaken — as part of a multi-agency collaboration that included the Libraries and Archives, IT, the Minnesota Historical Society and the people of Minnesota, and national conservation partners — to conserve, protect, digitize, and describe this important collection and make it accessible to the St. Olaf College community and researchers worldwide.