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UAV 605.270.1

Harvard University. News Office. Harvard University News Office photographs, 1940-1956 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAV 605.270.1
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University. News Office
Title: Harvard University News Office photographs, 1940-1956
Date(s): 1940-1956
Quantity: 14.3 cubic feet (26 flat boxes, 9 legal document boxes, 9 card boxes, 2 half legal document boxes, 1 file folder)
Quantity: 7,118 film negatives, 8,402 contact prints, and 4,681 work prints
Abstract: Harvard was profoundly affected by the Second World War, de-mobilization, and the Cold War era. This group of over 7000 unique images taken by the Harvard University News Office provides a visual record of the era and its transformative impact. These black-and-white images taken primarily by staff photographers depict academic life, facilities, and events at Harvard.

Title conventions:

Titles of individual photographs have chiefly been transcribed from original captions located either on the back of the photograph or on the page to which the contact print was affixed. Photograph titles supplied by the archivist are enclosed in square brackets.

Processing Information:

Collection surveyed and described by Robert Burton, 2012; description edited and digitized photographs added by Kate Bowers, 2013-2014.
The Harvard University News Office photographs, 1940-1956 were previously classified as UAV 605.270.1.1, UAV 605.270.1.2, UAV 605.270.1.3, UAV 605.270.1.4, and UAV 605.270.1.1. The collection was consolidated into a single call number, UAV 605.270.1, when it was surveyed and described in 2012.

Access Restrictions:

Contact prints and work prints are open for research use. Access to negatives may be restricted or closed due to fragility or deterioration.

Online access:

Some of these photographs have been digitized and are available online. Links to digitized photographs accompany item descriptions.

Preferred Citation:

Harvard University. News Office. Harvard University News Office photographs, 1940-1956. UAV 605.270.1, Harvard University Archives.

Related Archival Materials note

The Harvard University Archives holds the extensive photograph archive of the Harvard News Office and the Office of News and Public Affairs (records in classificatuons beginning UAV 605) as well as an substantial portrait collection http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua04006.

Harvard in the mid-20th century

Harvard was profoundly affected by the Second World War, de-mobilization, and the Cold War era.

The Harvard News Office

The Harvard University News Office was established in 1919. The first photographer was hired in 1943.

Photographers

Photographer credits appear mostly on the work prints. Many of the photographs were taken by News Office staff photographers Walter R. Fleischer, Paul Southwick, and William Tamberg. Other photographers include Fogg Art Museum photographer Jim Ufford, and student photographers Curtis Sanders (Class of 1950), Dimitri d'Arbeloff (Class of 1951), and Burt Dreyfus (Class of 1951?). Other sources include news agencies and Boston area commercial studios.

Arrangement and numbering

The Harvard University Archives as retained the original arrangement of these photographs as they were received from the News Office. The images are organized by photographic medium into three main groups: Contact prints, Work prints, and Negatives. Contact prints, 1942-1956 Work prints, 1941-1956 Negatives, 1942-1956 Groups are organized by image number. Numbers consist of a prefix and consecutive number. These were assigned incrementally over time, thus images within each coverage area, regardless of medium, are in chronological order. The same image number identifies a negative and any prints produced from it. News Office image numbers begin with a letter or letters as a prefix. Prefixes designate a coverage area. Two groups of prints "Harvard University" (image numbers beginning with HU) and "Berkshire Music Festival" (image numbers beginning with R) lack corresponding negatives. The "Special events" group does not have a prefix.

Prefixes

Scope and Content

Harvard was profoundly affected by the Second World War, de-mobilization, and the Cold War era. These photographs taken by the Harvard University News Office provides a visual record of the era and its transformative impact. These black-and-white images taken primarily by staff photographers depict academic life, facilities, and events at Harvard.
These photographs document the College, graduate schools, Summer School, scientific research, student life, buildings and facilities, ceremonies, and events at Harvard University during World War II and the following decade.
People portrayed include Harvard presidents James B. Conant and Nathan M. Pusey, administrators, faculty, librarians, staff, alumni, and visitors, along with students engaged in various activities in the classroom, around campus, and related to military service. Notable guests and visitors include prominent World War II figures, such as General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, General George S. Patton, and Winston Churchill; the Duke of Windsor, Éamon De Valera, Jawaharlal Nehru, Crown Prince Akihito, and other heads of state; film producer Walt Disney, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, architect Walter Gropius, poet Stephen Spender, jazz composer and pianist Duke Ellington, and composer Aaron Copland; and various local and state politicians.
Campus views show Harvard Yard and the John Harvard statue, Memorial Chapel and Memorial Hall, dormitories, libraries, graduate schools, Harvard College Observatory, laboratory and hospital facilities, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Stadium, and temporary housing for student veterans and their families. Other views include Radcliffe's campus, Harvard Square, the Charles River, Weld Boathouse, and downtown Boston.
Some of the many newsworthy events recorded include commencement ceremonies and activities from the first graduating class after the war, Edwin Cohn's blood fractionation project, presentation ceremonies for the Harvard Mark I computer devised by Howard Aiken, construction of Lamont Library, a radio broadcast of America's Town Meeting of the Air, a U.S. tour of United Nations war heroes in 1942, a rally outside Memorial Hall for 1948 Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry A. Wallace, filming of MGM's Mystery Street directed by John Sturgis, and conservation by Fogg Art Museum Conservation Department Head Rutherford J. Gettens of Dead Sea Scrolls owned by Assyrian Archbishop Athanasius Yeshue Samuel.
The collection contains 19,701 black-and-white photographs, including 7,118 film negatives, 7,902 contact prints, and 4,681 work prints. The negatives are mostly acetate, interspersed with some nitrate, 4 x 5 in. or smaller. All prints are gelatin silver. For the most part, they correspond to the negatives. The bulk of the contact prints, 4 x 5 in. or smaller, are mounted on paper binder pages, with three or more prints to a page. Most of the pages include handwritten or typewritten image numbers, dates, and brief captions. Many of the work prints, chiefly 8 x 10 in., were retouched, cropped, or otherwise marked for publication.
The Harvard University News Office photographs, 1940-1956 were previously classified as UAV 605.270.1.1, UAV 605.270.1.2, UAV 605.270.1.3, and UAV 605.270.1.4. The collection was consolidated into a single call number, UAV 605.270.1, when described in 2012.

General

This document last updated 2016 October 14.

Physical Condition

Contact prints in this collection show various signs of fading, discoloration, cockling, and degradation from the adhesive used to mount them to paper binder pages. The pages are acidic and turning brittle. Some pages have become sticky due to adhesive bleeding. In most instances where prints are missing or have been removed to be returned to the Office of News and Public Affairs the pages have been torn apart.
Many of the work prints are badly curled from lack of support. Some show slight fading or yellowing and damage (edge wear, creases, and tears) from improper handling and storage over the years. Some prints show what appear to be cracks in the gelatin binder.
The negatives are in reasonably good condition, although there are signs throughout the collection of damage from improper handling, curling, silver mirroring, and vinegar syndrome.
At-risk neagatives have been quarantined in Box 58.

General

Container List


hua15012