Making Collections Accessible

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Mount Royal Station. John Dubas, ca. 1907. Maryland Historical Society, MC9070.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Mount Royal Station. John Dubas, ca. 1907. Maryland Historical Society, MC9070.

Title: Maryland Historical Society Photographs
Platform: tumblr
Context: Developed as a means to expand access to MdHS photographs and to reach new audiences.
Description: In 2011, the MdHS website was frozen; newly digitized images could not be added the site. MdHS holds over one million photographs dating from the beginning of photography (circa 1848) through present day. The incredible collection was being digitized for patron and internal use, but newly digitized photographs could not be shared. I developed the tumblr as a contemporary way to share the collection. Many of the photographs are accompanied by embedded Google Maps to show the present day location of the historic photograph.

The MdHS Photographs tumblr was named Best Tumblr Feed in Baltimore Magazine in 2011 and rated #5 in Baltimore City Paper’s The Year in Intertubes 2011.

tumblr featured MdHS Photographs in the History and Photography categories:

MdHS Photographs featured on tumblr in History.
MdHS Photographs featured on tumblr in History.
MdHS Photographs featured on tumblr in Photography.
MdHS Photographs featured on tumblr in Photography.

When the tumblr was developed, I implemented Google Analytics to track qualitative data about visitors. Today, the tumblr has over 35,000 followers. Most visitors are from the United States, followed by Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, India, South Korea, Russia, China, Australia, Brazil, France, and other areas of the world. The largest percentage of visitors are between the age of 25-34, roughly 45% of which are female, and roughly 54% are male. Roughly 81% of visitors are new to the tumblr and roughly 18% are returning visitors.