Jonathan Williams photographs
Scope and Contents
Digital surrogates exist for significant portions of the collection and are available in the Beinecke Library's Digital Images Online database.
- circa 1951-2007
- Majority of material found within 1951 - 1997
Conditions Governing Access
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 and Series II.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
32.1 Linear Feet (63 boxes)
Language of Materials
Jonathan Williams (1929-2008)
Books of poetry by Williams include An Ear in Bartram's Tree (1969), Blues and Roots/Rue and Bluets (1971), The Loco Logodaedalus in Situ (1972), and Elite/Elate Poems (1979), while his books of photography include Portrait Photographs (1979) and A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude (2002).
In 1951, Williams founded the Jargon Society, a small-press publisher that publishes poetry, experimental fiction, photography, and folk art. As a poet and publisher, Williams was associated with the Black Mountain Poets. He also served as a contributing editor to the photography journal Aperture.
Williams and his partner of forty years, poet Thomas Meyer (born 1947), lived their summers at Corn Close, a seventeenth century shepherd's cottage in Dentdale in the Cumbrian hills of England and their winters at Skywinding Farm on Scaly Mountain, near Highlands, North Carolina.
Portions of this guide derive from Filemaker Pro 7 databases created by Jonathan Williams and his partner, Thomas Meyer, and transferred to the library in 2006. These databases identify black and white negatives in the collection, as well as color transparencies of portraits, outsider art, and images that appeared in the work, Jonathan Williams, A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude (Boston, Massachusetts: David R. Godine, 2002). The databases also established numbering systems for each group. In 2007, Williams and Meyer also provided identifications for Polaroid prints compiled in photograph albums. In 2009, the processing archivist consolidated information provided by Williams and Meyer in a Microsoft Access database, and supplemented this information with an item-level examination of the collection to create this guide.
The collection includes Polaroid prints originally housed in "magnetic" photograph albums, which are physically harmful to the items in them. For their preservation, library staff removed the Polaroid prints from the original albums and rehoused them in archival sheets and albums, which replicate their original arrangement and expression.
During physical processing, library staff rehoused each loose Polaroid print, transparency, and negative in acid-free paper sleeves.
In 2009-2010, library staff created digital surrogates for nearly all of the Polaroid prints in the collection, including nearly all the prints in the albums.
Former call numbers: Uncat MSS 929 and Uncat MSS 977
- Architectural photography
- Artists -- United States -- Portraits
- Authors, American -- Portraits
- Black-and-white negatives
- Born digital
- Dentdale (England) -- Pictorial works
- Diffusion transfer prints
- Great Britain -- Pictorial works
- Jargon Society
- LGBTQ resource
- Landscape photography
- Meyer, Thomas, 1947-
- North Carolina -- Pictorial works
- Outsider art -- United States -- Pictorial works
- Photograph albums
- Photographic prints
- Poets, American -- Portraits
- Portrait photography
- Sepulchral monuments -- Pictorial works
- Slides (photographs)
- Williams, Jonathan, 1929-2008
- Guide to the Jonathan Williams Photographs
- by Matthew Daniel Mason
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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