This grouping, arranged by subject, holds the largest numbers of photographic prints in the Oberlin College Archives. The bulk of them are 8” x 10” or smaller, and are stored vertically in file cabinet drawers. Older, more fragile prints are stored separately in records cartons and require more careful handling. The subject headings were locally derived and do not adhere to any controlled vocabulary.
The older prints, dating from the 1850s to the later 1910s, were produced by independent photographers in the region. In 1917 a College Photographer position was created for Arthur Ludwig Princehorn. He and his son Arthur Ewing Princehorn produced nearly all of the college’s negatives and photographs from 1917 to 1969 (see the Princehorn Family Papers, RG 30/416). The prints for this period were derived from negatives kept by the college photographers and noted on a log sheet by year. Later the College used photographers working in the college’s Communications Office, or local commercial photographers, and negatives were not systematically recorded or kept. During the 1980s and 1990s color slides were frequently used, and prints were only made on demand. In some cases photographs were taken by professionals outside the Northeast Ohio region. Sometimes photographers’ names or firm names appear stamped or inscribed on the backs of prints.
The inventory lists subject headings with the corresponding number of file folders and their locations, whether in file drawers or in boxes. A separate list identifies the individuals listed under “Visitors to Campus” and the dates of the visits. These include John Cage, Shirley Chisholm, Ralph Nader, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Gloria Steinem, Mark Twain, and many other famous persons. Sound or moving image recordings from these visits may be available.