2.5 linear feet (in 5 boxes)
The Ed Beach collection consists of photographic negatives (with some prints) and albums with prints of historic plaques and markers, statues of famous statesmen and their gravesites, early school buildings, historic houses, gristmills, sawmills, and county courthouses. Other subjects include tourist sites in Michigan (such as Greenfield Village or Mackinac Island) and state parks, especially those in the Upper Peninsula. His hometown of Howell, Michigan is also heavily documented.
The Beach collection is arranged into three series. In the Kodak series the negatives measure 2 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches in size and cover the years 1931 to 1948. The Leica series consists of 35-millimeter strips and were taken between the years 1936 and 1938. The third series consists of seven albums of carefully identified photographs.
An item-level listing of the contents of the Kodak and Leica series is available at the library. To aid researchers a geographic and subject index has been created and is attached to this finding aid. These indices provide the best introduction to the collection.
Beach created the photograph albums around broad topics, and each has a title. The albums include: "Michigan Historic Places," "Around Lake Erie in Ontario. Trip to Chicago Century of Progress," "Michigan Courthouses," "Michigan Ships, Monuments, Historic Places, Buildings, Creek Scenes," "Indian and Trail Markers," "Around Michigan: Historic Places, Buildings, Mills, Dams, Bridges, Masonic Buildings," and "Michigan Governors' Homes, Michigan Trees, Old Buildings of Michigan." The photos in the albums include Beach's negative number.