About NPGallery and Steamtown NPGallery Digital Archive

Steamtown National Historic Site NPGallery Digital Archive

This archive currently contains the Robert Schmid Collection.

Robert Schmid was a civil engineer for the New York Central Railroad. He collected over 8,000 negative images of steam locomotives representing over 800 North American railroad companies between 1900 and 1920. These images took the form of cellulose nitrate negatives, cellulose acetate negatives (safety film) and glass plate negatives. Negatives collected go back as far as 1850 including negatives of drawings or lithographs, during the infancy of steam and continue until his collection ceased in the early 1920s. Schmid recorded the railroad company that owned the locomotive, its number, its wheel arrangement, the builder of the locomotive and builder’s number. Sometimes he listed the other numbers used by the locomotive, along with the location and photo date. This information is included in its description.

The condition of the negatives vary. All images were scanned no matter the condition of the negative since these may be the only surviving image of a particular locomotive. All cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate negatives are in cold storage to stop their deterioration.

About NPGallery

The NPGallery Digital Asset Management System is an enterprise system for storing, organizing, and sharing photos and other digital files. NPGallery's central online repository offers a place for the NPS to store digital assets, including photos, illustrations, audio files, videos, and documents. The NPGallery platform lets parks and other programs easily store and organize all of their digital files, and allows users access to easily find and retrieve specific files. NPGallery is a premier solution for NPS parks and programs who have a need to manage and disseminate large volumes of digital assets, with many people accessing and using those assets.

NPGallery supports a wide array of digital asset file types (images, MS office formats, adobe pdfs, audio files, videos). Digital assets have control access to those files to ensure they are used properly. NPGallery supports parks and programs with digital asset hosting and delivery services. Digital assets in the system can be provided for public use, or locked for discovery only by internal NPS users. NPGallery has terabytes of digital files of all types that are safely stored and quickly retrievable for NPS business needs.

NPGallery provides a simple text search and search by state and park options, or has the ability to “search more fields” for robust metadata searching. Search results can be refined by filtering options. NPGallery supports web services, support for embedded metadata, and integrated geospatial capabilities. NPGallery also has a responsive user interface design, and the interface will gracefully resize to match the size of the screen on your device, supporting mobile.

Web authors using the NPS.gov content management system(CMS) now use NPGallery as the source for all photo galleries shown in the CMS.

Benefits of NPGallery to Parks & Programs

The NPGallery platform lets parks and other programs easily store and organize all of their digital files, and allows users access to easily find and retrieve specific files. These images and other digital assets have a direct URL link and can be used on program web pages. Multiple file sizes of each digital asset are stored and available for use and download.

Contact the NPGallery staff to have us assist your park or program with your unique Digital Asset Management needs. Email: NPGallery@nps.gov

NPGallery has continued working with individual parks and programs to create individual portals. These semi-custom web pages allow NPS parks and programs to deliver digital assets from a unique web page that highlights and shares photos, documents, audio files, and videos. Searching the featured digital archive can be customized to help guide a user through discovering the valuable digital assets unique to each park or program.