Unlock Your History
Archiving Services from Act 3 Partners
This is what a gold mine looks like
Your archive is a rich vein of brand-building history.
Think of all the things that shaped the enterprise you have
today: the colorful personalities who built it. The big ideas that
informed it. The successes you celebrated and the mistakes you
It’s the texture that enriches your brand story, and helps your
team, and your audience, understand what you’re all about.
And it’s all right there, in those boxes - if you could just find a
way to access it! That’s where we can help.
Digital Capture ...turbocharged!
We’ve figured out a way to bend the rules, and get both quality
and quantity in record time!
Now we can quickly and economically bring your messy boxed-
up history into the digital domain – where you can find it, and
use it, and keep it safe from the ravages of time.
With our system thousands of images, documents, and artifacts
can be safely captured and annotated in days, not weeks –in a
form compatible with virtually any digital asset management
The Secret: A proprietary mix of modern cameras, modern
image software, and old-fashioned attention to detail!
Catalogs: the gateway to your collection
Our high-volume capture process will produce a huge collection of image
files in no time! That’s why flexible cataloging is so important. It’s the key
to eﬃcient archive management.
As we capture each image we tag it with agreed-upon metadata which will
make it easy to organize your archive in meaningful ways. This metadata
becomes the basis of a wide variety of catalog options.
We can output a PDF index suitable for printing or online viewing. Or a
spreadsheet formatted to be compatible with your content management
For a more finished look we can even output your catalog as a hard-bound
book with full-color imagery.
Cover photo by Cory Weaver
Case Study: Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi’s is an iconic brand that’s been around for 130 years –with stories
dating back to the gold-rush, and clothing that many consider to be the
quintessential American fashion.
While many archives are mostly photos and documents, the massive Levi’s
archive contains physical samples of every garment they’ve ever made and
fascinating relics that customers and celebrities have contributed. Truly a
large-scale photographic challenge.
Because the collection is so large and so valuable, each year we bring a
complete capture set-up to their facility and perform all our work on-site.
This has the added advantage of allowing us to consult with their in-house
archivists as we capture.
The Result: After four annual visits we’ve added 20,000 images to their
digital asset management system. And created a rich source of inspiration for
their vintage clothing designers.
Denim Jacket circa 1944
Case Study: Wells Fargo
We’re always scrupulously careful with rapid capture was the perfect solution:
the items we digitize in our studio. But high resolution and high throughput!
for clients with very-high-value artifacts As we worked we kept a close eye on the
or sensitive documents we offer an “on- vault door. If it were to swing shut, we’d be
location” digitizing service. entombed two stories below ground. On
Our recent trip into the Wells Fargo the plus side, if nuclear war were to break
archive in San Francisco was a prime out we could close the door and keep
example. It’s a couple levels down in an old working!
We were capturing their corporate minutes The Result: 4700 pages of historic
from the late 1800s - a priceless historical journals captured in 3 days. Each journal
stash of handwritten journals filled with converted into a separate PDF document.
the names of the movers and shakers who A significant piece of corporate history
built San Francisco. now safe in the digital domain, without
The thick and delicate journals would ever leaving the safe!
never work in a flatbed scanner. Our raw
Case Study: University of California, Davis - Slater Collection
We love to help our clients bring their their sports hero led the team that
archives to life, and this project for U.C. had been the reigning Gold Medal
Davis is a prime example. Their Special champions for the last 92 years!
Collections team at the Shields Library The collection, with its medals
received a treasure trove of documents and other memorabilia was
and artifacts from the life of one of their considered too valuable to leave
legendary alumni: Colby “Babe” Slater the university so we set up our
Babe was a great athlete and after high-eﬃciency, high-resolution
graduation ended up on the 1924 U.S. capture station in a library
Olympic Rugby team as their captain. conference room.
That year they beat the heavily favored The Result: Over 2000 high-
French team for the Gold Medal. French resolution images - all cross-
fans were so disappointed they rioted, and referenced to the university’s
from then on rugby would not be played at content accession system - and
the Olympics. delivered on time to meet a tight
In 2016 the sport was reinstated, and U.C. website deadline.
Davis wanted to celebrate the fact that
Act 3 Partners: Our Process
All too often the biggest roadblock to capturing an archive is the fear
that the job is just too overwhelming to even begin.
But actually, capturing the images is a great way to get started on
the path to organizing and using your history. Once everything is
in a consistent digital format it’s much easier to scan through the
collection and organize the items into meaningful categories. That’s
why we advocate the simple four step process outlined here:
1 PRE-FLIGHT 2 CAPTURE
We design a workﬂow and process We capture everything in high-
that will achieve your content and resolution RAW format, up to 50
budget objectives. Then we work megapixels per image.
with you to establish keywords and These “digital negatives” offer
other metadata that will be useful in exquisite detail and guarantee the
organizing your content widest range of output uses.
3 ADD METADATA 4 EXPORT
We can add a wide variety of key- The resulting image catalog can be
words and other data to each image exported in a wide variety of formats,
to facilitate sorting and searching. including automatic porting to most
The digital negative format allows this digital asset management systems. Images
metadata to be embedded back into can yield stunning prints as well as
the image ﬁle for added security. compressed images for the web.
Act 3 Partners: Capabilities
High-Speed High-Resolution Digital Capture
On-site Capture Capability for High-Value or Fragile Material
Cataloging, Metadata Entry, and Curation
Photo Retouching and Restoration
Museum-grade Printing Preparation
Exhibit Design & Production
The new photo gallery at the
Diane Wilsey Center for Opera - San Francisco
Case Study: San Francisco Opera
With a history going back almost one hundred years the San Francisco
Opera has become one of the key cultural cornerstones of San Francisco,
and one of the most respected opera companies in the world.
In anticipation of their nearing centennial they are opening a new
wing with state-of-the-art performance spaces and modernized
administration oﬃces. They asked us to help bring their glorious
history to life with galleries of images displayed throughout the new
Working with their archive staff we sorted through reams of old
negatives and prints, many of which needed cleaning and retouching.
After capturing them at high resolution we worked with our printing
partners to produce stunning museum-grade prints.
The Result: In opera they say: “It’s not over till the fat lady sings!”
and now the San Francisco Opera has over 500 running feet of galleries
that really sing!
Samson and Delila 1933
restored from damaged negative
Case Study: UC Davis – Amerine Wine Label Collection
The University of California at Davis With over 5000 labels, it’s a fascinating
is considered the premier enology and survey not only of wine history but trends
viticulture learning center in the United in label graphics as well.
States. That reputation is owed in large
part to one of the school’s beloved The university wanted to preserve this
professors: Dr Maynard Amerine. His huge collection in digital format and
work over the last half of the twentieth our challenge was to streamline the
century was instrumental to the photography so that eight banker’s boxes
development of the California wine of labels could be captured within a tight
industry. academic budget. We engineered a pin-
Along with his countless academic registration system that ensured consistent
publications, he spent over 50 years image placement during the fast-paced
compiling a very personal diary of all the photography.
wines he had tasted around the world. But
more than just notes, he steamed off the The Result: Over 5000 high-resolution
labels from the bottles and pasted them images for the library and another set
into his diary, adding comments about the of JPEGs for a website the university is
wine, and the company he drank it with! building to crowd-source metadata for the
Case Study: Matson Navigation
Talk about a rich vein for storytelling! This private corporate archive
has it all: the lure of the wide-open sea, exciting ports-of-call, World
War II action, celebrities, and the golden age of luxury travel. Not
to mention revolutionizing commerce with the development of
containerized shipping. Spend ten minutes browsing this archive and
you gain a whole new appreciation for this historic brand.
An archive as old and varied as Matson’s often incorporates many media
formats. Their history spans much of the history of photography so we
needed to accommodate virtually every type of negative and print in our
The Result: Over a thousand high-resolution images, organized into
categorized galleries, with extensive searchable metadata.
SS Lurline on maiden voyage
greeted on arrival in Honolulu 1948
Case Study: Marin County Free Library
The Marin County Free Library was the Since many maps had very fine detail
lucky recepient of a huge collection of including faint notations in pencil we
nearly 30,000 unrecorded surveys and utilized a 50 megapixel camera for capture.
maps dating back to the gold rush. With some maps as large as a dinner table
The collection is profoundly significant as even 50 megapixels was not enough to
a historical record of the development of render the level of detail we wanted. To
the San Francisco Bay area. But making capture those maps we used a precision
these maps accessable to the public was stitching technique we’ve developed over
a real challenge. Many were extremely the years that combines multiple shots in a
delicate and some were very large. single image with incredible resolution.
For this job we set up a capture station in
the library’s California Room Annex where The Result: Over 2700 high-resolution
the maps are archived. Aided by library indexes and maps are now online and
staff and volunteers we able to digitize over in use by surveyors, developers and
500 maps per day. researchers everyday.
Case Study: Korbel Champagne
The history of the Korbel family is the Everything from pay stubs and inventory
story of the development of Northern tallies, to bottle labels, family photos and
California. Three brothers immigrated corporate minutes.
from Bohemia in the middle of the 1800’s, Realizing that the ravages of time were
and headed out into the virgin redwood starting to take a toll on this unique
forests of California to seek their fortune. resource they asked us to digitize it all and
annotate it with searchable metadata. This
Their archive documents involved the careful capture of each page
their progression from of scores of thick bound journals and the
lumber sellers to the capture and restoration of moldy glass
establishment of one plate negatives.
of the first California The Result: Over 6900 high-resolution
wineries. master images preserving the archive.
Scores of bound PDF thumbnail galleries with extensive
journals record the metadata give the staff a visual reference
minutest details of tool for accessing the collection.
the evolution of their
business over 130 years.
Part of Korbelʼs archive of corporate papers
Case Study: Hearst Corporation
When your heritage includes a massive undiscovered amongst old boxes in the
castle full of priceless artworks you tend to basement of the Hearst Building in San
take archiving very seriously. That’s why Francisco.
we were so pleased to be tapped to help We captured the odd-sized pages at high
the Hearst Corporation’s archivist with an resolution and processed the images
interesting bit of scrapbooking around the to bring out Hearst’s often faint pencil
actual design of the castle itself. notations. We also ran an optical
It seems that William Randolph Hearst character recognition pass to make the
was something of an architecture buff final document searchable.
and carried on a lively dialog with Julia
Morgan the architect for the castle he was The Result: A high-resolution PDF
building at San Simeon. He was constantly booklet that intimately illustrates the
scanning magazines and books for ideas creative collaboration between a larger-
and sending clippings with handwritten than-life client and his famous architect as
notes to her. they designed the castle that now rates as
Someone (perhaps Ms. Morgan) gathered the most popular of all California’s State
the notes into a scrapbook that had lain Parks!
Act 3 Partners: About Us
Ironically, we perfected our archiving processes while capturing our
own extensive media libraries. Principals Jack Schaeffer and Jeff
Hurn have been producing award-winning visual communications for
decades, and have generated terabytes of portfolio files in the process.
Our long experience in the art and science of photography informs the
way we approach every archive project. And after years of producing
engaging entertainment we’re especially attuned to the story-telling
opportunities hidden in every archive.
If you’d like more information about our company or would like to
discuss an archiving project please contact [email protected]
or by phone at 310-612-1950.
On-site capture in the library at
the University of California, Davis
ACT 3 partners