The Leavenworth Collection

R.C. Leavenworth started out photographing lumbering and mining camps in northern Michigan, using a horse-drawn darkroom. He relocated to Lansing, Michigan, in 1919 to document Lansing’s transformation into a major industrial city and automotive capital. The R.C. Leavenworth Photograph Collection spans many years. Through Leavenworth’s photos, one can “travel” from the horse-and-carriage days to the age of the automobile!

This Collection holds more than 200,000 negatives telling the story of Michigan’s past. All needs immediate conservation because their base material is chemically unstable. Until recently, poor storage conditions have accelerated deterioration of the negatives. It is estimated that 10% of the collection will be lost each year if we don’t act now.

75% of the funding needed to save this collection has been raised. Additional funding is required to purchase conservation equipment, supplies and provide public access on-line.

We need your help to save the Leavenworth Collection.

Here is the motion that was passed:

MMGS give a contribution to the Michigan Historical Foundation for the purpose of supporting the development or preparation of the Leavenworth Collection for future public use.  The contribution will be in the form of a matching contribution, dollar for dollar up to $250, from the treasury of MMGS with membership contributions.  Specifically, if the membership donates $250, the total donation will be $500.  If the membership donates $400, the total donation with be $650.

Why?  I used these discussion points:

1.  A matching donation will allow the membership to confirm their support of the Levenworth Collection.  It has a potential through advertising to our membership via the newsletter and email list of acquiring more than $500.  A straight donation might not even be noticed by the membership that does not attend meetings.

2. Our membership is roughly 100 members.  With the current dues structure of $15 per member, MMGS has an annual income of $1500.  The annual budget is $2000.  MMGS has a former commitment of $2000 for the move of the non-Michigan Collection.  Our treasure would be depleted within two years.  We need to reserve some funds for future projects. 

3.  A donation of $500 could likely mean that MMGS would most likely need to raise dues within a year to cover annual expenses.

I thought the paragraph about the Leavenworth Photograph Collection on the meeting agenda was excellent and could be used to introduce the project.   Karl Rogier has agreed to accept the checks.  His address is:
Karl Rogier
2420 Heights Avenue
Lansing,  MI  48912-3516
Or you could use the MMGS mail which is always slow:
PO Box 16033

Lansing, MI  48901-603

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