ICA digital slide library to debut in spring, 2004

The International Colored Gemstone Association GemBureau has begun the task of scanning the organization’s collection of colored gemstone varieties, most of which are held on 35-millimeter slides.

Consisting of many hundreds of high-quality photographs of colored gemstones, the slide collection was a project initiated in the mid 1980s by Cheryl Kremkow, the first GemBureau director and the first editor of the ICA Gazette.

Bart Curren, of Vancouver, Wash., an expert photographer and a gem carver and cutter, shot most of the slides. Curren toured the booths of ICA members exhibiting at the gem shows in Tucson and other locations in the United States, and would chose a variety of cut stones to shoot—often special samples that would catch his eye, as well as stones from new localities or cut samples of newly discovered gemstone species. Over the years, the library grew piecemeal into the huge collection it is today.

The digitalization of the ICA gemstone slide library will make its content widely available, to ICA members, the trade press, and the general media.

“Until recently, the scanning of the library’s more than 1,300 slides would have been too costly a project to undertake,” said Ya’akov Almor, the ICA GemBureau Coordinator, who is also the editor of the ICA Gazette. “But since high-quality slide scanners have become affordable, we are able to do this project in-house, and hope to finalize it in a reasonable amount of time.”

Almor said that he expected to complete the scanning of the entire library by spring 2004.