Explorations In Collections Care: Martin And Osa Johnson Glass Negatives In The Permanent Collection At The George Eastman House
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 07:52 by Jennifer E. Ko
This paper discusses a professional practical project that dealt with the collections care undertaken for one instance of found-in-collections material. Consisting of 336 four-by-five and five-by-seven gelatin glass plate negatives by American travel and wildlife filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson, the material had been cared for in the vaults of the permanent collection at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film for many years without the establishment of official acquisition or public accessibility. The project discussed in this paper involved the trajectory of care required to make the Johnson material available, including provenance research, official acquisition, registration documentation, cataloguing, and housing improvements. The paper discusses this process, analyzing decisions made from issues of arrangement to culturally-sensitive description in associated cataloguing records. Finally, this paper suggests avenues for potential use of the Johnson material, arguing for the possibilities afforded by accessibility.