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John Willis photographs

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-4516

Scope and Contents

The collection documents Willis’ career as a photographer from the 1970s through 2019. It contains approximately 20,000 film negatives and corresponding contact prints. Photographs by Willis include black and white 35mm negatives, medium format 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x17cm negatives, and large format 4x5”, 5x7” and 8x10” negatives and contact prints for all images published in Recycled Realities and Views From the Reservation. as well as negatives and contact prints for exhibition prints in Beinecke’s collections. The collection includes digital files from Willis’ series Mni Wiconi/ Water Is Life: Honoring the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Everywhere in the Ongoing Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty that were made during his visits to the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The collection also contains Willis’ darkroom notebook containing technical information on his printing process. Other material includes book mock ups, CD-ROMs, correspondence, and newsletters.

Dates

  • 1880 - 2019
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 2019

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Boxes 40-41 (born digital): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Electronic images are available only in Reading Room and not in the Beinecke Digital Library.

Conditions Governing Use

The John Willis 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

Purchased from John Willis on the Walter McClintock Memorial Fund and the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2017-2021.

Arrangement

Organized into six series: Series I: Photographic work, 1978-2007, Series II: Mni Wiconi, Honoring the Water Protectors, 2016-2019, Series III: Recycled Realities, 1998-2001, Series IV: Views from the Reservation, 1990-2019, Series V: Professional material, 1880-2010, Series VI: Computer media, circa 1990-2019.

Related Materials

John Willis Collection of Lakota Art (WA MSS S-4447). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota (WA Photos Folio 148). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Arizona, Cambodia, New Mexico, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (WA Photos Folio 149). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Arizona, Connecticut, New Mexico, and South Dakota (WA Photos Folio 155). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota (WA Photos Folio 185). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Dakota Access Pipeline Protests in North Dakota (WA Photos Folio 186). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and the Mexican-American Border Region (WA Photos Folio 213). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

John Willis Photographs of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and South Dakota (WA Photos Folio 219). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Extent

19.25 Linear Feet ((41 boxes) + 15,400 files)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.willis

Overview

The collection documents Willis’ career as a photographer from the 1970s through 2019. It contains approximately 20,000 film negatives and corresponding contact prints. Photographs by Willis include black and white 35mm negatives, medium format 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x17cm negatives, and large format 4x5”, 5x7” and 8x10” negatives and contact prints for all images published in Recycled Realities and Views From the Reservation, as well as negatives and contact prints for exhibition prints in Beinecke’s collections. The collection includes digital files from Willis’ series Mni Wiconi/ Water Is Life: Honoring the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Everywhere in the Ongoing Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty that were made during his visits to the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The collection also contains Willis’ darkroom notebook containing technical information on his printing process. Other material includes book mock ups, CD-ROMs, correspondence, and newsletters.

John Willis

John Willis is a documentary photographer and emeritus professor of photography at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. His monographs include Recycled Realities, co-authored with Tom Young, Views from the Reservation, and Mni Wiconi/ Water Is Life: Honoring the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Everywhere in the Ongoing Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty. Willis has photographs in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others. He is also a co-founder with Bill Ledger of the In-Sight Photography Project, a youth photography outreach project in Brattleboro, Vermont.

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 or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the John Willis Photographs
Status
Completed
Author
by Jessica Tai
Date
March 2022
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.