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Series I: Photographs Albums, 1977-2007

Call Number: YCAL MSS 757, Series I

Scope and Contents

This series consists of photograph albums with more than 2700 Polaroid prints created and compiled in albums by Williams. The albums chiefly document his social circle and outsider art, as well as his travel throughout Europe and the United States.

The Polaroid prints in these albums are a proprietary photographic format marketed by the Polaroid Corporation. The prints are made using a diffusion transfer process in film packets, which contains all of the developing chemicals and are exposed in a special camera.

Identified individuals with significant quantities of informal portraits in the series include Donald B. Anderson, Basil Bunting, Mary Cooper, Simon Cutts, Sandra Fisher, Astrid Furnival, John Furnival, Ian Gardner, Mike Harding, Michael Heny, David Hockney, Robert Holmes, R. B. Kitaj, Todd Merrell, Anne Midgette, Stuart Mills, Raymond Moore, Karl Torok, and Erica Van Horn, as well as many portraits of Williams and Meyer.


  • 1977-2007


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Box 63 (computer disk): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital surrogates exist in the Beinecke Library's Digital Images Online database for most of the material in Series I.


Series I is arranged sequentially by the numbers Williams applied to individual albums, followed by image identifications that Williams and Meyer provided for the albums, and then a sample selection of the original albums without prints


7.3 Linear Feet (34 boxes)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

General note

For long-term preservation, the Polaroid prints were removed from their original "magnetic" photograph albums and rehoused in archival sheets and albums, which replicate their original arrangement and expression.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.