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Dorothy Alexander photographs

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 1750

Content Description

The collection consists of black-and-white and color photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives, slides, indices and other papers, audiovisual media, and digital files related to the work of Canadian-American photographer Dorothy Alexander. Photographic materials encompass her professional freelance work and personal creative endeavors, particularly street photography.

The collection contains Alexander's photographs of events and projects for organizations such as the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, the Municipal Art Society of New York, the New York Institute for the Humanities, and the Writer’s Voice at the West Side YMCA. Subjects of those photographs include Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Robert Stern, and Herbert and Dorothy Vogel. Alexander's street photography features images of women and urban landscapes. Many items throughout the collection are inscribed with dates, names of events or subjects, or project numbers assigned by Alexander.

Dates

  • 1967–2016

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 52 (film reels): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Electronic files: Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Dorothy Alexander Photographs is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dorothy Alexander, 2016.

Arrangement

Organized into six series: I. Indices, 2016. II. Freelance Photography, 1960s-2010. III. Street Photography, 1981-2007. IV. Papers, 1979-2002. V. Audiovisual Media, undated. VI. Computer Files.

Extent

21.1 Linear Feet (52 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.dalexander

Overview

The collection consists of black-and-white and color photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives, slides, indices and other papers, audiovisual media, and digital files related to the work of Canadian-American photographer Dorothy Alexander. Photographic materials encompass her professional freelance work and personal creative endeavors, particularly street photography.

Dorothy Alexander (1934?-)

Dorothy Alexander is a Canadian-American photographer and architect. Born Dorothy Baxter in Saint Lambert, Quebec, Canada, she studied architecture at McGill University before immigrating to the United States. In 1961, she obtained her license to practice architecture in California. She worked as an architect for John Carl Warnecke and the firm Wurster, Bernardi, and Emmons in San Francisco, and later established her own firm under the name D. B. Alexander. She moved to New York in 1967.

Upon moving to New York, she began taking street portraits of New Yorkers with an old Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta camera. With no formal training, she subsequently transitioned to a career in photography. From 1979 to 2008, she worked as freelance photographer for the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Other clients included the Academy of American Poets, The Writer’s Voice at the West Side YMCA, and The Globe and Mail. Alexander also continued to work in the field of architecture on assignments for professional organizations like the Architectural League of New York and publications such as Architectural Digest. In the 1980s, she worked as staff photographer for Skyline, published by the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, and Oculus, the quarterly magazine of the American Institute of Architects New York chapter.

Alexander’s photography is featured in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, as well as the private collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. In the 1990s, her street portraits were exhibited in the show “New York Women” at the Donnell Library Center.

Alexander lives in New York City. She was previously married to architect William Alexander.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Dorothy Alexander Photographs
Author
by Nora Soto
Date
September 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

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.