May 2020 Wrap Up: National Photography Month
by Grace Wagner, Reading Room Access Services Supervisor
May marks the one-year anniversary of SCRC’s first blog post, which went live just over a year ago, on May 7, 2019. We’ve been posting weekly ever since!
All month long, we’ve been celebrating National Photography Month through our blog post coverage of special collections and University Archives materials in our collections. To finish out the month, our Plastics and Historical Artifacts Curator, Courtney Asztalos, who regularly teaches with SCRC’s photography collections, provides a glimpse at SCRC’s transition to teaching digitally with these materials.
Teaching Remotely with Photograph Collections
By Courtney Asztalos, Plastics and Historical Artifacts Curator
Teaching with our photography collections across campus and regionally is part of the regular instruction provided by SCRC. As we transitioned to remote work in mid-March, teaching with our photography collections continued online.
During April, I was excited to join Art History Professor Margaret (Maggie) Innes’ class for a shared session on utilizing SCRC Online resources. I joined Anneka Herre’s Transmedia Studio class to share options for researching our digital collections as students were working with archival materials for an assignment.
Another exciting opportunity for teaching with photographic materials occurred when Light Work Lab invited Nicole Westerdahl, Reference and Access Services Librarian, and me to share SCRC digital collections and other online archives for photographers. Nicole and I put together a session that spanned how to use SCRC Online collections and our more extensive digital collections, the Plastics Collection, and the Marcel Breuer Digital Archive. We shared information about Fair Use and Creative Commons resources, as well as a variety of other institutions’ online archives and digital resources for artists to browse and explore.
For National Photography Month, I wanted to share a few digitized objects available for viewing digitally. This is just a small sample of items we regularly pull and display for our in-person photography sessions. Enjoy!
- Did you know that daguerreotype cases were made from ‘plastic’?
- Speaking of daguerreotypes—see this engraving of Frederick Douglass made from one. Did you know Douglass was one of the most photographed Americans of his time? This engraving, made by engraver John Chester Buttre, is from the first edition of Douglass’s “Autographs for Freedom”. Read letters from Douglass in our Gerrit Smith Papers!
- This Baby Brownie Kodak Camera was one of the first fully plastic cameras marketed by Kodak and designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. And, if, you’re interested in his work as an industrial designer, you’re in luck! SCRC has his papers!
- View “Blind Woman” a photograph by Paul Strand straight from the printed page inside one of the most historically significant photographic publications of the 20th century, Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work, no. 49/50, July 1917.
- The University Archives holds alumni R.F. Woodhull Papers that includes this large cyanotype fabric collage from 1905.
- Looking to see relationships between photographers? Check out this letter from Dorothea Lange to Margaret Bourke White, part of SCRC’s Margaret Bourke White Papers.
Looking Back at April & May Events
April 26, 2020. University Archive shares SU traditions in Daily Orange
April 27, 2020. SCRC provided photos for story on Syracuse 8 legacy.
April 29, 2020. The Syracuse University Archives is seeking to record and preserve the personal responses of Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 6, 2020. SCRC graduate student Isabel McCullough was awarded the Kathy and Stanley Walters Student Scholarship Fund for her work at Bird Library in SCRC.
May 8, 2020. SCRC graduate student assistants Sheridan Bishoff, Natasha Bishop, and Elisabeth Genter presented at the 2020 Annual Art History Graduate Symposium. Julia Jessen, who conducted research with SCRC’s American Book Company Records for her paper, also presented.
May 11, 2020. SCRC Plastics and Historical Artifacts Curator Courtney Asztalos received honorable mention for the 46th Annual Light Work Grants in Photography.
May 18, 2020. An item in SCRC’s collection is mentioned in a blog post titled “The Cookbook not for Cooking,” published by Medium.
May 19, 2020. Authors Scott Pitoniak and Rick Burton present the story of “Forever Orange: The Story of Syracuse University,” in a virtual book talk. The publication is filled with photographs and research from SCRC’s University Archives collections.
Newly Processed Collection
- University Archives. Frederick Marvin Audio Materials: Recordings of Frederick Marvin’s concerts, rehearsals, and other performances.
May Blog Roundup
- Charles Eisenmann’s Circus Photography and the Cartes de visite Collection by Aisha Pierre, Reference Assistant
- New Acquisition: Rare 19th Century Photograph Album Featuring African Americans by Colleen Theisen, Chief Curator
- An Incomplete History of the Inn Complete by Isabel McCullough, Reference Assistant
The photograph featured in the header image of this post is from our Jackie Martin Papers (Jackie Martin Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries), part of the Special Collections Research Center’s manuscript collections.