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Gallery of historic photos opens in Brooklyn

by: Rita A. Leonard, The staff at History Images, at 1730 S.E. Holgate Boulevard, are, from left: Josh Ross, Michelle Smith, and owner Michael Ross.

'History Images', an established business on S.E. 122nd, which moved west into Brooklyn in September, reproduces and sells historic photographs, maps, and posters, drawn from state, federal and private archives.

The unique service and gallery is located at 1730 S.E. Holgate Boulevard, and also offers custom framing and shipping services for enlargements as huge as 4 x 8 feet.

Michael Ross, owner of the business, says he is fascinated by old maps, and has a BS degree in History from Portland State University. He developed the business while doing archival research for a PSU professor, and now has accumulated an inventory of thousands of photos, maps and other materials for customers to choose from.

'I visit the National Archives in Maryland twice a year, and have discovered other historical resources and collections to add to our company files,' reports Ross.

The 300-square-foot gallery at History Images offers on-site archival access to clients, so they can personally select items they'd like reproduced. 'We are constantly adding to our collection,' Ross continues.

'We have a large number of historical photos on Women's Rights, Native Americana, and Territorial History in the Pacific Northwest. In the coming year we plan to feature special exhibits on Black History, Women's History, and Native American History.

'The framed and matted displays in our gallery will change weekly as we sell to the public and ship to customers,' says Ross. In its three years in business, History Images has shipped products all around the world; from Russia to Australia, Saudi Arabia to Korea.

'Right now, we're putting an emphasis on acquiring historic materials from the Pacific Nnorthwest,' Ross continues. 'We're currently expanding our company archive to include more maps and photos of Portland and Washington history. There's a lot of interest in this region's past. I have a large map of the early Oregon Territory dating back to 1842, but we also have some maps that date back as far as the 15th century.'

The staff at History Images are assigned both to a second floor technical department and first floor mat-cutting room. Josh Ross works on design and technical matters, while Michelle Smith, who has a BA in Art History, manages research, production and photo restoration.

'Customers can visit our gallery Monday through Friday from 9 till 6, and on weekends from noon till 7. They can also phone us at 503/408-2360,' says Michael. 'They can select and order their favorite prints from our collection, and we can mat and frame them. We also sell framed items from our gallery, and offer framing and restoration services.'