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The New York World-Telegram & Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection (NYWTS) (1,000,000 photographic prints, ca. 1880-1967, bulk 1920-67) offers researchers a rich body of material with which to investigate how this mass-circulation newspaper represented women. Consisting of images made by staff photographers and, more prevalently, images gathered from commercial studios and wire services, the collection is divided into a biographical section and a subject/geographical section.
The collection has proven to be a valuable source of images of people, including:
To give an example of the range of coverage found in the collection: there are twenty-one folders of images relating to the career of Amelia Earhart, ranging from the folder labeled rather generally by New York World staff “Earhart, Amelia—Aviatrix. Dead. Flights,” which holds twenty-seven photos on this subject, to the folder more precisely labeled “Earhart, Amelia—Aviatrix. Dead. Welcomes. Paris, France,” which contains a single photo.
The subject/geographical portion of the file yields intriguing glimpses of women's involvement in the civil rights movement and local, national, and international politics. It also highlights aspects of family life, popular culture, and consumerism, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s.
The manner in which the newspaper's staff chose to caption the photographs and the headings under which staff filed them (which are retained both on the versos of the photos and in the division's finding aid) are sometimes as revealing of contemporary activities and concerns as are the photos themselves.
Most of the images that researchers or staff have requested for reproduction can be searched in the online catalog. The collection does not have its own listing in the online catalog but items from it can be found by searching the phrase “New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection” (or the call number code nywts) in combination with subjects or names of interest.
To look for images for which no online record exists, on-site researchers can request to have folders retrieved from their off-site storage location. Five business days are needed to allow time for retrieval and preparation of the images. Up to ten folder headings can be requested per day. To make a request:
A finding aid for the New York World-Telegram and Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection is available in the following three parts: