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Impact Visuals Photograph Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Impact Visuals
Title: Impact Visuals Photograph Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1984-2000
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Photographs documenting protests relating to labor, trade, health care, jobs, etc., mostly in the United States but a few in Canada, Guatemala, and India
Language: All captions and majority of content is in English; a few photos include signs in Spanish
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Impact Visuals (1986-2001) was a New York City-based photo agency, archive, and publication service, with a focus on social justice, equity, and multicultural issues. Founded by Michael Kaufman, the co-op provided photographs and photojournalist services to a variety of clients, from mainstream newspapers and magazines to progressive, non-profit organizations and alternative media. At some point, Impact Visuals acquired the archive of South African cooperative Afrapix which was added to their archive. Impact "[had] a core value of documenting people and their fight for self-determination. Also the goal is to support the photographers who do this kind of work and are members of the co-op." ["Nicholas Herman interviews Katie Brennan", The Co-operative Learning Centre, undated]

Impact was cooperatively owned, with a high bar for membership; its 80 or so member photographers received 50% of the revenue generated from their archive sales and 60% of their assignment sales, but retained copyright to their images and were allowed to market their work independently. Members were expected to be "photographically skilled with a consistently unique style of shooting, someone that is dedicated to political and social awareness, someone that is able to produce at a consistently high level, and someone who will add to the racial, ethnic, sexual and geographical diversity of the cooperative. Of utmost importance is the applicants independence, motivation and interest in working together towards a common goal." [Geraldine Baum, "Impact Visuals Internship Journal", Spring 1996]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Impact Visuals Photograph Collection contains black-and-white photographs taken by members of the New York City photographers' co-operative. Reflecting Impact Visuals' focus on documenting social justice issues, most are of protests, rallies, marches, and other expressions of public pressure for change.

Subjects include budget cuts, the Republican legislative agenda known as "Contract with America", health care, jobs/unemployment, "living wage," and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Most of the photographs are of events in the United States, but there are a few from Canada, India, and Guatemala. Specific issues, organizations, and identified individuals are given in the inventory below. An index to photographers whose work appears in the collection may be found at the end of this finding aid.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by topic; the few international photos are filed at the end.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Impact Visuals' archive is held by the Thomas J. Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut.

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Subject Headings


Jackson, Jesse.
Wallis, Jim.

Corporate Bodies

Impact Visuals.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Sojourners Fellowship.


Documentary photography -- United States.
Environmentalism -- United States.
North American Free Trade Agreement (1992 December 17)
Protest movements -- United States.
Strikes and lockouts -- United States.
Trade regulation -- United States.
United States -- Economic policy.

Genres and Forms




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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Impact Visuals Photography Co-Op Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2020.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 3 Sep 2020
Revision history:

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Box 1 Banking and finance 1991, 1993-1995 - interest rates, mortgage rates, etc.
9 Jan 1991, Washington, DC - FDIC chairman William Seidman, Comptroller Robert Clarke at Senate Banking Committee hearing on bankruptcy of Bank of New England
11 Sep 1991, Washington, DC - Clark Clifford and Robert Altman at House hearings on BCCI and First American Bank
Apr 1993, Brooklyn - couple meeting with lawyer to refinance mortgage
15 Nov 1994, Washington, DC - rally in front of Federal Reserve during meeting of Federal Open Market Committee
9 Oct 1995, Washington, DC - "BAP! the Bank" March and Rally, sponsored by Fifty Years is Enough
Box 1 Budget cuts 1991-1992, 1995
4 Feb 1991, Brooklyn - demonstrators in front of Brooklyn Public Library
30 Apr 1991, New York City - union workers and others, on Wall Street and near World Trade Center
14 Mar 1992, Washington, DC - union workers (AFGE/AFSCME) protesting in Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's neighborhood
27 Mar 1995, Albany, NY - civil service workers protesting at state capitol; Mental Health Action Network
6 May 1995, New York City - protests in Times Square
Box 1 "Contract with America" 1995
29 Mar 1995, Ann Arbor, MI - students and welfare rights workers, University of Michigan
4 Apr 1995, Detroit, MI - NAACP, SEIU, other organizations
14 Aug 1995, Yorba Linda, CA - Teamsters and others protesting Gingrich's book signing ceremony at the Nixon Library
18 Aug 1995, Boston, MA - environmental, labor, pro-choice, and LGBT groups protesting Gingrich's book signing at Lauriat's Bookstore
Box 1 Health care 1990
13 Jun 1990, Albany NY - union members and others at state capitol
3 Oct 1990, New York City - municipal workers at City Hall Park
Box 1 Jobs 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991-1993 - including layoffs, plant closings, unemployment
1984, Paterson NJ - member of Typographical Union who lost job due to automation
Mar 1987, Detroit, MI - UAW workers protesting plant closings; lines of workers at unemployment office
Nov 1989, Detroit, MI - UAW workers protesting plant closings
Aug 1991, Rochester, NH - applicants waiting in line for hours to apply for jobs at Cabletron
Feb 1992, Manchester, NH - volunteers and unemployed at New Horizons Soup Kitchen
14 Jul 1992, New York City - "March of the Unemployed" outside Madison Square Garden during Democratic National Convention
29 Jul 1992, Detroit, MI - protests against privatization of emergency medical services (EMS)
18 Feb 1993, Washington, DC - unemployed workers from Pennsylvania protesting for extension of benefits
6 Apr 1993, Chicago, IL - applicants waiting in line for hours to apply for jobs at Michael Jordan's new restaurant
14 Apr 1993, Rochester, NY - Movement for a People's Assembly outside Kodak plant as part of "National Job is a Right Campaign"
21 Jun 1993, Fresno, CA - applicants waiting in line for hours to apply for jobs at Walmart
Oct 1993, New York City - anti-layoff demonstration of hospital workers
11 Nov 1993, Detroit, MI - applicants waiting in line for hours to apply for future jobs at potential new casino
Box 1 Living wage 1996, 1998
24 Aug 1996, Chicago, IL - members of ACORN, SEIU, and others at Navy Pier during Democratic National Convention
7 Sep 1998, Alexandria, VA - Labor Day rally, mostly Latino workers, sponsored by Northern Virginia Livable Wage Campaign and Tenants and Workers Support Committee
Box 1 NAFTA 1992-1993
1992, New York City - General Motors layoffs
8 Jan 1993, Austin, TX - protesters outside during meeting between President Bill Clinton and Mexican President Salinas de Gortari
1 May 1993, Seattle, WA - "Not this NAFTA" rally organized by NAFTA/GATT Justice Committee and the Washington Coalition for Fair Trade and Social Justice
5 May 1993, Cleveland, OH - UAW members and others at rally organized by Jobs with Justice and a coalition of local activists
8 May 1993, Northfield, MN - protest at Armory, spurred by local firm Sheldahl Co. moving operations to Mexico
18 Sep 1993, Marcus Hook, PA - rally of unions, environmental activists, peace groups, and Mexican mushroom farm workers
2 Oct 1993, Buffalo, NY - Jesse Jackson with local labor and political leaders at Trico plant
23 Oct 1993, Atlanta, GA - union workers and environmental activists at state capitol
Nov 1993, Queens, NY - Queens Coalition to Stop NAFTA, Rego Park
10 Nov 1993, New York City - ILGWU members in garment district
12 Nov 1993, Tucson, AZ - homeless and others protesting outside Representative Jim Kolbe's office
Box 1 Miscellaneous, identified 1988-1995, 2000
Sep 1988, New York City - Labor Day parade, signs expressing solidarity with Mexican workers
21 Oct 1989, St. Louis, MO - Victor Reuther at UAW New Directions Movement First National Congress
7 Oct 1990, New York City - tourists being turned away from the Statue of Liberty, closed due to government shutdown
[Jan?] 1991, Dover, DE - migrant farm worker
15 May 1992, Washington, DC - "Save Our Cities" march/rally; signs include mention of Rodney King and police brutality
3 Jun 1994, Cincinnati, OH - SEIU District 925 President Debbie Schneider and Mayor Diane Qualls at union's annual meeting
1 Dec 1994, Washington, DC - protesters against GATT outside White House
6 Dec 1995, Washington, DC - Sojourners members (including Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Rivers) protesting GOP budget as anti-poor people, at US Capitol Building
18 Jun 2000, Eugene, OR - police in riot gear clearing protesters
Box 1 Miscellaneous, unidentified - includes CWA workers on strike against AT&T
Box 1 International - Canada
26 Aug 1991, Toronto, ONT - Canadian Union of Postal Workers protesting privatization outside sorting plant of Canada Post
28 Apr 1993, Windsor, ONT - Workers Memorial Day march
24 Nov 1993, Toronto, ONT - Ontario Public Service Employees Union at Queen's Park (provincial legislature), protesting "social contract"
11 Dec 1995, London, ONT - postal workers outside sorting plant of Canada Post, protesting anti-labor policies and cutbacks of Ontario premier Mike Harris
Box 1 International - Guatemala
3 Feb 1997, Mixco - protesters against unfair tax burden; foreground is close-up of young police officer's face
Box 1 International - India
2 Feb 1987, New Delhi - sit-in by nurses outside residence of Human Resource Minister
1 Dec 1994, New Delhi - child labor at evening wedding

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Index to photographers

This index includes all photographers whose work is represented in the collection, with the topic folders where their work may be found.

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