Archive of Collections

The History of the Archive

In the Beginning

Just prior to 20th April 2015, Ted Hume receives the following email from Bob De Cesaris concerning the collection of the late Tom Wyman.

Hi Ted,

We have individually photographed all of the excise rules and many of his small excise- and ullaging- related booklets. Not ready for prime time yet as Clark (McCoy) and I need to retake some of the photos to make them "permanent archive" quality. Thus far, this represents about 5-10% of his collection (and includes many of the earliest and most important pieces), but the road ahead to 100% completion will be long.

We definitely plan to photograph anything that the family wants to donate to MIT as a legacy to Tom (this includes the excise and ullaging rules above), or any piece that is to be sold via OS David Stanley auctions first; the others will come as we find the time.

Note, just like all of us, a large portion of Tom's collection (the portion that was in his garage) consisted of common rules; these will not be photographed as these are very common Pickett's K&E's, Dietzgen's, modern late plastic rules (not Analon's or 2/83's or 2/84's), load adjusters, other odds and ends, etc.

Plan is to photograph the collection that was in his two cabinets in his office, which are the most important and prized part of his collection. Photographers so far have been Bob, Kate and Clark with Clark deserving by far the most recognition for keeping the flame going on a sure but steady pace.



On 20th April 2015 Rod receives the following email from Ted, the first indication that I (Rod) have of anyone actively considering recording and saving a collection for posterity.

Hello Bob, Richard, Rod,

I read with great interest Bob's comments about preserving Tom's collection photographically.

I understand from his comments that photography is in progress.

May I suggest that the basic format developed by Rod for the OS Rarities Gallery might be the perfect vehicle for preserving Tom's collection in an online archive, and that this archive be a feature of the OS website....

This continues with a suggested structure of the archive and a request for offers of interest.

Both Richard (Davis) and I react positively and on the same day Richard emails thus:

Hello Ted, Bob, Rod and Clark:

I agree that a format like the Rarities Gallery would be excellent.

I do think we might want to think ahead and make provision for other significant collector's collections...

Thus was born not just Tom Wyman's Archive but "The Archive of Collections".

The development of the collections in chronological order:

The Tom Wyman Collection

Clark McCoy, Bob De Cesaris, and Kate Matthews catalogued and photographed Tom Wyman's collection, the first to appear in the Archive. This was a huge undertaking that required many months of work.

Rod Lovett designed, wrote the programs, and constructed the Archive site.

Richard Davis and Ted Hume made thumbnail images and wrote the captions.

Ted, Richard, and Rod were all involved in the evolving design of the archive.

Rod, Richard, and Ted then invited several additional Oughtred Society members to participate in the Archive of Collections.

The Paul Tarantolo Collection

Paul had already documented and photographed his collection, greatly reducing our work.

Richard created the thumbnails.

Rod designed the site and loaded all the images and data.

Rod, Richard, and Ted conferred at length to finalize the design.
The design is significantly different than that for the Tom Wyman Archive.

The Richard Davis Collection

Richard provided the data and all the images.

Rod designed the site by simplifying the design used on Paul Tarantolo's Collection.

The Louis Gotlib Collection

Louis provided the full images which required significant work by Richard Davis to put the images into a form suitable for the archive.

Richard created all the thumbnails.

Rod used the same design as that used for the Richard Davis Collection.

Complete Search of the Archives

Rod provided this Search facility.

Tom Wyman's archive was the first one created and was before a consistent system development had evolved.

The structure of this archive is thus not compatible with later archives and therefore the searching of it had to be developed separately.

The Cliff Fröhlich Collection

Clif provided the full images and thumbnails.

Rod used the same design as in the Richard Davis Archive onwards.

The Bob Otnes Collection

The first tentative steps start in May 2019. However little of significance was done on the Archive until the end of 2021. Jim Bready, who was selling Bob's Collection on eBay was creating detailed descriptions for the items.

Jim then assigned details of these items to the following team: Richard Davis, Bob de Cesaris, and David Rance.

Richard then co-ordinated the input from this team and sent the images and spreadsheets to Rod who used the same design as in the Richard Davis Archive onwards.