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DeKalb Streetscapes Collection

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DeKalb Streetscapes Collection, 2006 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: DeKalb Streetscapes Collection, 2006

ID: RHC/RC/276

Extent: 2.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/2006

Subjects: Business Enterprise-- DeKalb (Ill.), Cemeteries--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works, Church buildings--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works, DeKalb (Ill.), DeKalb (Ill.) Sesquicentennial, Dwellings--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works, Egyptian Theatre, Ellwood House, Fire departments--Illinois--DeKalb, Glidden Homestead, Greek letter societies--buildings--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works - Fraternity, Greek letter societies--buildings--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works - Sorority, Gurler House, Haish Memorial Library, Lincoln Highway, Northern Illinois University, Parks--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works, Schools--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works, Streetscapes (urban Design)--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works

Forms of Material: Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The images in this collection are a complement to the Embree Collection [RC 2] held by the Regional History Center.  The Embree Collection offers approximately 10,000 images of life in DeKalb, Illinois from the mid 1890's through the 1965.  Both the Embree and Streetscapes Collections are especially strong on documenting the built environment in the central city area.  While virtually all of the Embree Collection is black and white, two thirds of the Streetscapes Collection is color: there are about 900 color and 600 black and white images in the Streetscapes Collection.  

  Over time other photographers will be adding images to the Streetscapes Collection to give it more breadth of coverage and to provide updates as the years pass.  The collection is organized roughly by type of image and the photographer.  Every image bears a unique number and the inititals of the creator on the back.  Joan Metzger created a subject index to the collection.

Collection Historical Note

In the summer of 2005 DeKalb Mayor Frank van Buer asked Glen Gildemeister, Director of the Regional History Center at NIU, to chair the DeKalb Sesquicentennial Program Committee.  During the following year the DeKalb Sesquicentennial Celebration staged over forty concerts, exhibits, and special events.  To create a more permanent legacy the DeKalb Streetscapes Project came to life.  The goal was to create a collection of images that depicted life in DeKalb at the beginning of the twenty-first century.   

Three judges, all professionals, selected about sixty of the images in this collection for display during the summer of the Sesquicentennial Celebration.  The Nehring Gallery in downtown DeKalb hosted the exhibit alongside an exhibit of one hundred historical photographs.  The winning images may be found together on CD 1 in Box 1.  Glen Gildemeister curated both exhibits.  

The collection represents the views of the fifteen people who created the images and, over time, we hope more photographers will be adding their views of life in DeKalb.  With enough time and volunteers the DeKalb Streetscapes Collection will document the twenty-first century as well as Embree does the twentieth.

Subject/Index Terms

Business Enterprise-- DeKalb (Ill.)
Cemeteries--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works
Church buildings--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works
DeKalb (Ill.)
DeKalb (Ill.) Sesquicentennial
Dwellings--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works
Egyptian Theatre
Ellwood House
Fire departments--Illinois--DeKalb
Glidden Homestead
Greek letter societies--buildings--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works - Fraternity
Greek letter societies--buildings--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works - Sorority
Gurler House
Haish Memorial Library
Lincoln Highway
Northern Illinois University
Parks--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works
Schools--Illinois--DeKalb--Pictorial works
Streetscapes (urban Design)--DeKalb (Ill.)--Pictorial works

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights to the materials belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights in the collection are dedicated to the public.

Other Note: Glen A. Gildemeister initiated the DeKalb Streetscapes Collection in the spring of 2006 as part of his work on the DeKalb Sesquicentennial Committee.  Fifteen photographers created the 1,500 images found in the collection: Steve Anderson, Mark Baldin, Robert Banke, Anna Marie Coveny, Elizabeth Fenwick, Glen Gildemeister, David Groat, Dan Grych, Aracely Hernandez, Francisco Solares Larrave, Holly Lundh, Joan Metzger, Rod Neace, Ivan Shils M.D., and Joe Thorn.  These photographers are identified by initials on the back of each print in the collection.     As the City of DeKalb celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2006 the photographers sought to preserve what they saw as representative views of life in DeKalb at the beginning of the twenty-first century.  Some shot black and white film, some color film, some only digital images, and some a combination of the above.  The negatives and proof prints created for those who shot film are also preserved in the collection though there are full sized prints for  the negatives at hand.


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