He’s been a fixture at sports memorabilia conventions for a long time. Now, it takes several tables just to hold a fraction of the inventory of historic sports photographs in his archive. John Rogers is a buying machine when it comes to photos–sports, politics, news or anything in between.
A couple of years ago, the man behind the Rogers Photo Archive spent over $1.6 million on a T206 Honus Wagner. Now, his biggest purchases usually involve the archives of newspapers and other media. Decades old, the old photos take up a lot of space. Rogers offers a solution that works for the publications–and for his business.
He buys partial or complete collections of photographs. In return, his full-time staff of 52 workers scan them, put them on computer files along with the information that may have come on a wire photo tag sheet. The files are turned over to the media outlet, which suddenly has an easily accessible archive. It’s the ultimate win-win.
There are well over 33,000,000 images in the Rogers Archive that include all photographic formats such as original vintage studio and cabinet photographs, wire and news service photos, glass plate negatives, and high quality digitals.
The quantities are massive and collectors who have seen even a chunk of Rogers’ archive have no problem finding something that fits their interest in a specific team or player.
It may be the ultimate win-win. Even the Poynter Institute was intrigued by the process and filed this story for their website.