The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division.
The Prints & Photographs Division typically has more than ten processing projects underway at any given time. Like the peaks of a mountain range, the most visible images that come out of the processing backlog (the arrearage) are the additions to the online collections. Over the last six months, we also made a lot of progress with several large, complex collections. We organized, described, and provided archival housing for 175,000 pictures—listed below as “Coming Soon.”
Carol M. Highsmith’s America Collection, 1980-present. The states of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah are represented in close to 2,000 rights-free photographs taken in 2022.
Letterpress Posters by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., 2002-2022. More than 250 of Kennedy’s dynamic posters are now online. Kennedy inspires both action and reflection through layers of words and color. The “Proceed and Be Bold” poster honors Samuel Mockbee—an architect who focused on rural housing in the South. Quotations from Rosa Parks and reminders to vote appear frequently in Kennedy’s work. Humor is also visible in such phrases as “We demand the very best from our clients” printed over a background of red roosters and “To drink is human. To drink coffee is divine.” A Creative Commons license allows you to download the images and share them with others as long as appropriate credit is given to the artist. The images cannot be used commercially or modified.
Paul M. Rudolph Archive—the color slide series. You can browse the 20,000 slides online to see architect Paul Rudolph’s modernist designs from the 1940s to 1990s as well as images used in his lectures. Many of the slides have no known restrictions on publication, including the pictures of models that bring to life his design goals and the building details. For a geographic perspective, check out place names, like Florida, New Haven, New York, Boston, and Singapore.
Coming Soon. Processing projects due to wrap up in the next few months include the following significant collections. All quantities and dates are approximate.
- Bob Adelman Photograph Archive, 1950-2000, bulk 1950-1980, 540,000 items
- Ralph Ellison photographs, Visual Materials from his papers, 1900s, 15,000 items
- Robert H. McNeill Family collection, 1840-1990s, 25,000 items documenting nearly two hundred years of African-American daily life and special events
We’re well underway with these major collections, too.
- American National Red Cross Collection, 1890s-1940s, 90,000 photographs
- Robert Hamilton Blackburn Printmaking Workshop core collection and archives, 1948-1999, 2,000 items
- Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, Historic American Landscapes Survey, 1933-present. New surveys are arriving, and digitizing photos has restarted!
- Historical Copyright Deposits: The Class KFO, 1949-1977 (87 items) has a finding aid that lists each item. Class I, 1909-1950 (15,000 items) has started. Work on Class G begins this month
- Liljenquist Civil War Photograph Collection has grown to 6,500 items, including manuscripts
- Patent Office Advertising Prints and Labels, 1870s-1920s, more than 180,000 items
- Postcard File, 1890s-present, more than 50,000 items
- U. S. Patent Office Trademarks, 1869-1911, 83,000 items, with 24,000 online
- Catch up with the picture collections presented in previous Ready for Research blog posts.
- Receive links to new finding aids by subscribing to the Finding Aids RSS or email feeds.
- Explore the growing set of collection and subject guides that describe popular Prints & Photographs Division collections.