Adler Planetarium Makes the Webster Photographs Collection Available for Research

The Adler Planetarium is pleased to announce that the Webster Photographs Collection is now available for research.

Roderick S. and Marjorie K. Webster were natives of the Chicago suburbs who served as caretakers, curators, and benefactors of the scientific instrument and rare book collections at the Adler Planetarium from 1962 to the early 2000s. Through a project generously funded by a grant from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, the photos chronicling the Webster’s career at the Adler and their exhaustive research on astronomical instruments have now been processed to the file level. Created simultaneously along with the Webster Papers (also processed through a previous ISHRAB grant), this collection supplements our existing archival collections and provides additional insights and information to researchers of both the Websters and the Adler’s objects.

The Webster Photographs comprise ten cubic feet of print photos, slides, and negatives, most taken by Roderick Webster. The collection has been processed to the file level, with item-level records and scanning to be completed by future volunteers. The images document the Adler’s scientific instruments, other instruments documented on research trips or through professional conferencetravel, and exhibitions of such instruments both inside and outside the Adler. The photographs demonstrate how the Websters used the documentary aspect of photography as a tool in their research. The collection is accessible by visiting and searching "Webster Photographs."