Archival Treasure Hunt in Shelley Rice’s Class

20 Oct

Shelley Rice’s Toward a Critical Vocabulary of Photography class is spending part of the fall 2011 semester exploring the holdings of the Tamiment Library, searching for buried pictorial treasure. The Tamiment acquired the archives of the American Communist Party about five years ago, and the photo morgue of the party newspaper, The Daily Worker, is now part of the NYU Library. With the help of Associate Curator Michael Nash, students in Rice’s class are going through boxes of files, which cover the years from 1919 to 2003. They are looking at images from 20th century labor negotiations and protests, Soviet trade shows and American farming and fishing, conflicts from World War 2 to Vietnam, independence movements in countries like Algeria and of course Civil Rights, Feminist and other demonstrations here at home. Research papers will be written about their findings, and the ultimate goal is to work with Nash to curate an exhibition of photographs to be shown in the Tisch Photography Department Galleries that can inform the NYU community about this remarkable addition to Bobst Library.

Students rifle through boxes of files in Tamiment Library

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