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This collection contains two main components – a collection of photographic prints and a collection of photographic negatives. The majority of the photographic prints were acquired by Houston Cole Library through various donations whose provenance is now unknown, but include such sources as the scrapbooks of former students; some prints were also given to the Library by previous university photographers including Opal R. Lovett (employed 1950-1986), Ed Hill (employed 1986-1999), and Steve Latham (employed 1999-2016). The printed photographs date back to the 1800s and continue through the early 2000s. Their size range includes the entire spectrum, from poster-sized framed group portraits to 10 x 44 in. landscape prints to 2 x 3 in. snapshots. The individuals, locations, and events pictured are primarily, but not exclusively, related to Jacksonville State University (previously known as the State Normal School, Jacksonville State Teachers College, and Jacksonville State College). Examples include photographs of campus buildings; athletic, social, and other events; portraits and candids of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and university administrators; and pedagogical activities.

The photographic negatives were acquired in 2009 from JSU Photographic Services, and organization and scanning were begun on these negatives in 2012 in order to preserve them, since many are deteriorating to the point of total loss. The majority are medium format negatives, but 35mm slides and other formats are also included. It is estimated there are approximately 128,000 negatives in the collection, and they cover the same type of JSU-related subjects as the printed photographs. The majority of the negatives are photos taken by university photographers, and the bulk of the collection dates from the 1940s-1970s.



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