About the Michael Sand Archives
Michael amassed a vast archive dating back to the early '60s (client files, print collateral, project samples, street photography), covering decades of museum exhibits, design history, cultural and political history, Boston city government, and more. The archives are currently managed by Jess Sand and Zoe Donahue, Michael's daughters. Our long-term goal is to get this collection online and publicly accessible via this site.
The physical collection consists of the following materials:
- Documents, objects, and artwork: est. 50 linear feet
- Video and audio cassettes: est. 16 cubic feet
- 35mm slide negatives: est. 19 cubic feet
Physical materials are currently in storage in Massachusetts, and undigitized. If you or someone you know might be interested in housing the files or assisting with digitzation, please get in touch.
In the meantime, we're slowly but steadily cataloging more than 14,000 digital images that Michael converted from his slides several years before his death. These images depict many of his projects, associates, and other subjects. We believe there may be even more undigitized slides in the physical archives.
At last count, known images span approximately 50 clients (give or take a dozen image sets that may or may not be client work), and 128 individual projects.
See the draft finding aid for a description of the entire collection.
A note about language and subject matter in the collection
This collection reflects the work and perspective of Michael Sand. Michael's approach to design was sometimes considered provocative, in that he often addressed controversial subject matter, challenged common perspectives, and invited open discussion and experiences among museum visitors of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. The materials date back to the early 1960s and reflect the times in which they were originally produced. They're presented in their original form for informational and educational purposes. As such, they may include original language and imagery that fall outside today's standards of inclusion and cultural respect. The collection does not necessarily reflect the Michael Sand Estate's perspective, and we've attempted to include editorial context and/or notation where possible to acknowledge the cultural implications of the original.
Gathering accurate records
Not all of the images in the archives represent work done by Michael. If you see project photos that you recognize or were part of (or if you feel you have a copyright claim on any of the images), please consider sending us any details you can.
About the website
The site itself is produced by Jess (Michael's youngest daughter), with extremely limited knowledge of front-end coding and using as many open source tools as possible:
- The timeline on the home page is built using Timeline.js.
- The archives run on Omeka, a platform designed with the archives and museum fields in mind. We've integrated many Omeka plugins contributed by various teams, and adapted the Avant Garde theme originally designed by Emedara Studios.
Visit Jess' blog to read more about how she got started with the project.