Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer project increases access to early 20th-century photograph collection

With support from the Samuel S. Fels Fund the Library Company is pleased to make a wonderful collection of photographs available for public research and use. The collection consists of more than 200 portraits taken ca. 1910-1940 by local photographer John Frank Keith (1883-1947) in the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia and Kensington. Keith captured residents of these working-class neighborhoods socializing on their front stoops, posing with family members and friends on the sidewalk, and dressed up for special occasions such as First Communion.

Throughout the summer, the Library Company’s Fels intern, Charlene Peacock will work with our Print and Photograph and Cataloging departments to increase access to this important body of work. We have already digitized the collection and posted the images on Flickr Later this summer we will launch an online exhibition that will provide biographical information about Keith and situate his work in a historical context, both in photographic history and within the history of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. We also plan to catalog the photographs for inclusion in our digital collections catalog, ImPAC Stay tuned!