On Tuesday we hosted a visit from members of the Royal Photographic Society. I laid out a display of some of the varied resources for photographic history held in Special Collections, and Dr Kelley Wilder from the Photographic History Research Centre spoke about how her students use and benefit from the collection.
Special Collections notably holds the Kodak Collection, a set of books and journals donated by the Kodak Research and Development facility before it closed. This collection contains long runs of American, English, French and German journals which are available for researchers to browse on open shelves. Recently we have acquired the library of the Photographers’ Gallery and a collection of auction catalogues from the Wilson Centre for Photography. These three collections together form a wide-ranging resource for students of the history of photography as well as being of interest for other subject areas including fashion, design and history.
Also on display was photographic material from DMU’s archive holdings. This includes a varied slide collection as well as images collected in the course of teaching and as part of the life of the university. Most popular were the ‘slipping slides’, hand coloured slides with a moveable tab which makes the image appear animated – the belly of a man drinking expands as he gulps, for example.
The visitors were also interested in the Kodak Ephemera Collection, a set of marketing and promotional material from the company. Items include badges, mugs, beach balls, scarves and cool-bags, all branded with the Kodak logo. Indeed one of the audience later offered me an addition to the collection – a bright yellow Kodak suitcase!
The event was much enjoyed by the Society members, many of whom plan to visit and use the resources in Special Collections for their own research.
Event photographs courtesy of Donald Stewart.