From Historical Collections and Archives:
One of the best aspects of photographic images is that we can see the progression and changes in not only people but also buildings and campuses. The Health Sciences Campus Archives record groups RG18.01 Photographs and RG18.02 Slides include images of current buildings and former campus buildings that are no longer standing. Aerial images of the campus as early as 1956 are also available in these two record groups.
In Scholarly Commons there are numerous images available to view in the following:
The majority of these images were given to the Historical Collections and Archives by the Division of Communications and Marketing when it was known as Institutional Relations.
-Renée Sharrock, Curator
From Special Collections & Institutional Archives:
This month marks the completion of a digitization project that we’ve been working on here in Special Collections and Institutional Archives. For the past month and a half, we’ve been working to rehouse, process, and digitize MSS 411, the Fred Parker Farrar glass plate negatives.
The Fred Parker Farrar glass plate negatives are a bit of a mystery in terms of origin (also called provenance, in the archival field), as they were found in an old piece of furniture given to Reese Library. The collection is comprised of 155 images, all glass plate negatives. Glass plate negatives were an early photography format, preceding film photography. Images from this collection were produced using gelatin dry plate negatives. These glass plate negatives had a dry gelatin emulsion layer onto which the image would be captured. These glass plates were mass-produced and available to amateur photographers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
While rehousing the collection, I found pieces of the original paper sleeves that the negatives would have been housed in before they were taken to be developed. In pencil, on the majority of these envelopes was written “F.P. Farrar.” While I initially thought this might refer to the subject of the photograph, as I looked at more of the photographs, it became clear that this was more likely to be the photographer. After doing some digging, I found that the collection was that of Fred Parker Farrar (1883-1981), an amateur photographer and businessman based in Augusta. During the early 1900s, Farrar and his wife ran a series of stores on Broad Street, selling cameras, glass plate negatives, postcards, and eventually, film. Farrar was also a founding member of the Augusta Camera Club in 1909, a club for amateur photographers at a time when taking photographs as a hobby was still in its infancy. Farrar and his business partner Raymond Murphy even brought educational lectures on photography to town, sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company.
Some of the negatives in the collection had accompanying developed photographs, while others did not. In order to digitize these negatives, we had to scan the negatives and use Photoshop to create a positive image, the photograph. The images in the collection have been organized into two series: Series I includes photographs of individuals and portrait photographs, and Series II includes landscape photographs and scenes of Augusta. Unfortunately, many of the images experienced damage to the emulsion layer at some point in the last 100 years since their creation, but even that makes the images intriguing.
–Kara Flynn, Special Collections Librarian
About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries have a department devoted to the preservation and archival keeping of the campus’ unique histories. The Historical Collections & Archives (HCA) is located on the 2nd floor of the Greenblatt Library on the Health Sciences campus. Special Collections & Institutional Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.