Acquisition opportunitiy

17.12.2012 10:34 Age: 5 yrs

Category: Consultancy

The IMS Archive 1870 - 1990 is available for sale

1.     Owner of the IMS Archive

The IMS archive (International Magazine Service), serviced the Swedish media market for many years. Founded in 1946, it was acquired by the present owner, NordicPhotos, in 2003.

 2.     Archive Overview 

It is estimated that there is a total of approximately 300,000 images in the IMS archive ranging from 1870 - 1990. These are split between four main themes: portraits, film stills, royalty and war. The war section comprises of approximately 20,000 black and white original prints and covers a variety of conflicts going back to approximately 1870. It is particularly strong on the World War 1 period but has interesting images throughout. 

There is no catalogue as such but the images have been well – sorted by specific conflict and territory (for example “World War 1 - France”, “World War 2 – England”) so specific images are quite easy to find. Almost all the images are in analogue format only but the condition is generally very good considering their age and would not be difficult to digitise by anyone with experience of scanning archival material. It appears that those few that have been scanned have not yet all been keyworded.

Many of the best images come from the Ahlen & Akerlunds Forlag collection. Ahlen & Akerlunds Forlag, at the time Sweden’s largest magazine publisher, was bought by Bonnier in 1929. Traditionally a book publisher, Bonnier acquired a controlling stake in Dagens Nyheter in 1924 so it was a logical progression to buy Ahlen & Akerlunds Forlag five year’s later.

These images cover a wide period of the history of conflict and include images of a particular conflict, for example, the First World War, from a variety of perspectives and in many locations. The images show not only the conflict but also paint a true and vivid picture of how people at the time were affected by events and the conditions of both the aristocracy and the working class. There are fascinating images of early aircraft, tanks, weapons, etc and a lot of very quirky, day to day material which is rare and fascinating to anyone interested in the lives of people during conflicts as well as to professional historians and archivists.

The captioning on the back of the images is contemporaneous and in most cases extremely detailed. Some is in English but at some stage, but definitely long after the original event, an editor or researcher has added additional handwritten information in Swedish which elaborates on the original captions. The reason for doing this is unclear but it greatly adds to the interest of the images. There is also various other information on certain images such as censorship notices, other source material and various stamps and marks which authenticate the provenance of this interesting collection.

Overall, there are many rare and fascinating images in this collection. A small selection is shown on the following pages.


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