The City of Cumberland purchased the photographic collection from Herman and Stacia Miller in 1982. Mr. Miller was a Cumberland resident who had a great interest in the history of Cumberland,
serving on the City's Advisory Commission on Historical Matters and the Historic Preservation Commission during the 1970s.
In 1978, he was the subject of an oral history by Dr. Harry Stegmaier entitled, Cumberland, Maryland Through the Eyes of Herman J. Miller. As part of the acquisition agreement, the collection was to be used for "preservation and future historic planning uses of the City." This collection of over 2,000 images is an invaluable resource, tracing the heritage of Cumberland through images of its people, buildings, and events over a span of time ranging from the late nineteenth century through the mid twentieth century. Through these photos, researchers can view images of the rich history of the railroad, the National Road, Downtown Cumberland, the C&O Canal, Cumberland neighborhoods, early leaders, and significant and special events, just to name a few examples.
Recently, the City of Cumberland contracted with Information Manufacturing Corporation of Rocket Center, WV to digitize the photographs to further protect and preserve the collection and likewise
reach a much larger audience through the Internet. Herman Miller's wish was that the photographic collection not be used for profit; rather he wanted it to be available for the public to learn more
about their community. The City of Cumberland is proud to make this vision possible.