Jul
01

The Sven Walnum Photograph Collection

by J.T. Buzanga (Former Graduate Student Intern, Northeastern University)

Sven Walnum was born in Oslo, Norway and immigrated to the United States in September 1947. Walnum’s life in Norway was difficult; having survived debilitating childhood illness, a chaotic family life, and World War II, Walnum went on to study cinematography at the University of Southern California. In 1960 he and fellow filmmaker Wayne Mitchell documented and photographed a short though important segment of Senator John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Walnum’s interest in politics and in the Kennedys did not end with John F. Kennedy. He also photographed JFK’s two brothers, Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy, during their political campaigns. Although Walnum may be best known as the camera operator for films such as “The Sugarland Express” and “Deliverance,” his beautiful and distinctive photographs of the Kennedy brothers on the campaign trail deserve special attention.

Walnum followed John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign from September 15 to October 17, 1960. During that time he photographed JFK’s public speeches and the crowds that came to hear them. He successfully captured JFK’s charismatic nature, and perhaps more notably, the energy and mood of his audiences. During the fall of 1960 JFK campaigned in many swing states and Walnum ably depicted the mixed attitudes toward JFK. For example, in Indiana—a state that went to Richard Nixon in the 1960 election—support for Nixon was captured thoughtfully and effectively. In other places, the show of support for JFK was unmistakable.

 

SWPC-JFK-088-034

 

 

SWPC-JFK-088-034. A Crowd Watches a Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy in Indiana, 5 October 1960. A young man shows support for Richard Nixon by wearing a campaign button on his belt.

 

 

 

 

SWPC-JFK-C003-006

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-JFK-C003-006. Senator John F. Kennedy Overlooks an Ohio Crowd, 17 October 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SWPC-JFK-C003-007. Supporters of Senator John F. Kennedy Applaud his Arrival, 17 October 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum holds a limited number of audiovisual materials on Robert F. Kennedy, making the  Walnum additions quite valuable. As Robert F. Kennedy campaigned for the presidential nomination in Los Angeles, Walnum followed with his camera in tow. His photographs—which include RFK on the campaign trail, Ethel Kennedy and some of their children, and photos from the Ambassador Hotel shortly before RFK’s assassination—add rich and poignant variety to the existing holdings. Through his photos Walnum captured RFK’s fiery personality and the free-spirited, passionate crowds that attended his rallies.

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C011-003. Senator Robert F. Kennedy Delivers a Speech at the TRW Plant in Redondo Beach, CA, 16 May 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SWPC-RFK-C015-012. Ethel, David, and Mary Kerry Kennedy at Bolsa Grande High School, Garden Grove, CA, 2 June 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C018-005

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C018-005. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy Answer Questions at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 4 June 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C021-005

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C021-005. Roadside Supporters of Senator Robert F. Kennedy from his Campaign in the Los Angeles Area, c. 2 June 1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C001-006

 

 

 

 

SWPC-RFK-C001-006. Supporters of Senator Robert F. Kennedy Gather in Griffith Park, California, 24 March 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteen years later, Sven Walnum worked on the campaign of yet another Kennedy. This time, he followed Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy on his 1982 senatorial campaign. As with the other Kennedy brothers, Walnum successfully captured Ted Kennedy’s personality. As importantly, Walnum documented the strong relationship between Ted Kennedy and the people of Massachusetts, a bond further reflected in his long tenure in the U.S. Senate (November 7, 1962 – August 25, 2009).

 

SWPC-EMK-001-017A

 

 

 

 

SWPC-EMK-001-017A. Senator Edward M. Kennedy gives a Thumbs-up to the Students at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 28 October 1982.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWPC-EMK-C002-030. Senator Edward M. Kennedy Delivers a Speech to the Greater Lowell Senior Forum at Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, 29 October 1982.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SWPC-EMK-011-001A. Senator Edward M. Kennedy Campaigning in Fall River, MA, 27 October 1982.

 

 

 

 

 

These images represent a small fraction of the photographs available in the Sven Walnum Photograph Collection, which comprises approximately 1400 original negatives. This new collection offers researchers access to historically rich images that have rarely been seen by the public.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/07/the-sven-walnum-photograph-collection/

Jun
04

Adventures in Crowdsourcing

by Lindsay Closterman and Nicola Mantzaris, Metadata Catalogers, White House Photographs

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is now on Flickr! We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new National Archives Flickr page, a crowdsourcing pilot project featuring images from the White House Photographs collection at the Kennedy Library. As metadata catalogers, we are eager to explore ways in which community participation can be a useful resource for professionally cataloged collections and archival institutions.

The White House Photographs collection is comprised of approximately 30,000 photos taken by three principal photographers: Robert Knudsen, Abbie Rowe, and Cecil Stoughton. The collection documents the President’s activities at the White House and his official trips; the President and his family at the White House, at other residences, on vacations, and at other non-official times; Administration officials and members of  Congress; White House staff and visitors to the White House; and White House rooms and grounds. To date, the Kennedy Library has digitized and cataloged approximately 11,000 images from this collection.

We have selected 36 images of unidentified administration staff members and associates for our first Flickr set, “Who am I? Can you identify these staff from the JFK Administration?” Despite thorough research, we have been unable to identify certain people pictured in these photographs and hope to tap into the knowledge of historians, former Kennedy administration officials, and anyone else who may be willing to contribute information. We have shared this Flickr set with the White House Historical Association and the Office of the Historian and hope to reach additional experts at other relevant organizations.

 

Here is a sampling of the images you can find on our Flickr page:

 

JFKWHP-AR6403-A. President John F. Kennedy with Photographers,  6 March 1961 [View photograph record here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190071931/in/set-72157644729385113]

JFKWHP-AR6403-A. President John F. Kennedy with Photographers, 6 March 1961
[View photograph record here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190071931/in/set-72157644729385113]

 

 

We were able to identify one of the four photographers pictured in this image of President John F. Kennedy attending the 20th Annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search. United Press International photographer James K. W. Atherton stands fourth from left. Do you know any of the other photographers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-C21483. White House Chefs and Kitchen Staff, 3 May 1962 [View photograph record here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190792372/in/set-72157644729385113]

JFKWHP-KN-C21483. White House Chefs and Kitchen Staff, 3 May 1962
[View photograph record here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190792372/in/set-72157644729385113]

 

 

 

Can you identify the White House kitchen staff standing with White House Executive Chef René Verdon (third from left), Assistant Chef Julius Spessot (second from left), and Pastry Chef Ferdinand Louvat (second from right)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-AR6530-A. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Attends White House Reception, 19 April 1961 [View photograph record here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190807852/in/set-72157644729385113]

JFKWHP-AR6530-A. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy attends White House Reception, 19 April 1961
[View photograph record here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14190807852/in/set-72157644729385113]

 

 

 

The social aide pictured at left in this photograph with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy appears in many of our photos, but we do not know his name. In this photo, he stands with the First Lady during a reception for wives of members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-21436. President John F.  Kennedy with Unidentified White House Staff Member, 7 May 1962 [View photograph record here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14193299064/in/set-72157644729385113]

JFKWHP-KN-21436. President John F. Kennedy with Unidentified White House Staff Member, 7 May 1962
[View photograph record here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/14193299064/in/set-72157644729385113]

 

 

 

 

In this photograph, President John F. Kennedy stands with an unidentified man. Our sources indicate that the man might be a White House staff member, but we cannot confirm this, nor do we have a name for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizen archivists, unite!

To submit information regarding a photograph, simply sign in to your Flickr account (or create one) and post a comment or add a tag, making sure to include any relevant sources. Our catalogers will review the comments submitted by users and incorporate that information into our metadata when applicable. Creating a Flickr account is easy and free. We look forward to hearing from you!

See the entire Flickr set here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/sets/72157644729385113/

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/06/adventures-in-crowdsourcing/

May
16

Meghan Testerman, Volunteer Extraordinaire

by Laurie Austin, Audiovisual Reference Archivist

In conjunction with Public Service Recognition Week, the Archivist of the United States (or “AOTUS,” as he’s known throughout the National Archives) presented awards to employees and volunteers across the National Archives for exceptional work they achieved over the past year. [Check out AOTUS's blog here: http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/?p=5473.] We were thrilled that our very own volunteer, Meghan Testerman, was awarded the Weidman Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for her work on the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection.

 

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero presents Kennedy Library volunteer Meghan Testerman with the Weidman Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at Archives II in College Park, MD, 7 May 2014.

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero presents Kennedy Library volunteer Meghan Testerman with the Weidman Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at Archives II in College Park, MD, 7 May 2014.

 

Megh contacted us out of the blue in the fall of 2012 to ask if we had any short-term archival projects that she could do while her husband finished up his master’s degree at a local university. She agreed to take over work on the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection in the effort to finish describing the remaining 25% of photographs—approximately 2,500 images. The work involved researching every photo to identify the people, places, occasions, dates, and copyright holders whenever possible, and then writing descriptions of each image in the database. It also included updating box and folder numbers to make the collection more user-friendly.

There was a good reason why this portion of the collection was left for the end—it was by far the most daunting. Megh’s predecessors had all done their share of detective work, but this portion of the collection required a master sleuth. The photos were primarily of Hemingway’s travels in Spain in the 1950s, as well as the photos he amassed for writing his bull fighting novels. Imagine folder after folder full of unidentified bull fights, bull rings, and bull fighters that all seemed to look the same. Megh threw herself into the project, reading Hemingway’s books The Dangerous Summer and Death in the Afternoon and many biographies and scholarly works about the topic, all on her own time. She sifted through the archival correspondence to get a better sense of his companions and his travels. In a matter of months, she became impressively knowledgeable on Hemingway’s Spain in the 1950s and on bull fighting in general. She reconstructed Hemingway’s movements, learned who accompanied him and where, and became adept at identifying the bull fighters, the bulls and their brands, and even the maneuvers that were being depicted in the images. It was simply remarkable.

 

EH2388S, 1959: Ernest Hemingway visits with Spanish matador Antonio Ordonez at Valcargado, Ordonez' ranch near Cádiz, Spain. Copyright status: Public Domain. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH2388S, 1959
Ernest Hemingway visits with Spanish matador Antonio Ordonez at Valcargado, Ordonez’ ranch near Cádiz, Spain.
Copyright status: Public Domain. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH8864P, n.d.: Ava Gardner, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Ernest Hemingway, Mary Rupert Bellville and others at a luncheon at Costa dol Sol, Andalusia, Spain. Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH8864P, n.d.
Ava Gardner, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Ernest Hemingway, Mary Rupert Bellville and others at a luncheon at Costa dol Sol, Andalusia, Spain.
Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH10478P, 1959: Ernest Hemingway dines at Valcargado, Antonio Ordonez' ranch near Cádiz, Spain. Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH10478P, 1959
Ernest Hemingway dines at Valcargado, Antonio Ordonez’ ranch near Cádiz, Spain.
Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EH-C724T, 30 July 1959: Spanish matador Antonio Ordonez performing a pass in Sevilla, Spain. Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

EH-C724T, 30 July 1959
Spanish matador Antonio Ordonez performing a pass in Sevilla, Spain.
Copyright status: Unknown. Please credit, Ernest Hemingway Photo Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

 

By the time she left us in May 2013, Megh had spent approximately 350 hours at the Kennedy Library and considerably more of her own time doing independent research.

But the story does not end there. After Megh left the Kennedy Library, she happened to meet a reporter from PRI’s The World. She told him about her project at the Kennedy Library; he was fascinated and decided to do a story about it for national radio. That story aired in August 2013: http://pri.org/stories/2013-08-13/new-information-revealed-photos-ernest-hemingways-dangerous-summer

Megh wasn’t with us for very long, but during her short time at the Kennedy Library she produced extraordinary work, captivated staff with her boundless enthusiasm, and, unwittingly, helped to give the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection international exposure.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/05/meghan-testerman-volunteer-extraordinaire/

Apr
28

A Bunny in the Rose Garden

by Maryrose Grossman, Audiovisual Reference Archivist

Now that spring is blooming, the White House Rose Garden–the most prominent horticultural display on the grounds of the Presidential mansion–comes to mind. Bordering the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House since 1913, the White House Rose Garden has long been the setting for official presidential business: hosting special visitors, conducting official ceremonies, making public statements, and more. It has also served as an elegant yet informal space for the private use of presidents and their families.

JFKWHP-ST-C115-1-63. View of the Rose Garden from the Oval Office at the White House, April 29, 1963. (Thumbprint at upper left appears on original negative.)

 

During the Kennedy Presidency, Mrs. Kennedy, as part of her sweeping White House restoration efforts, set about transforming the Rose Garden from a “nondescript patch of hedge-rowed lawn”[1] into a space with a defined central lawn bordered by flower beds planted in a French style; it would feature American botanical specimens including crab apple trees, tulips, primrose, and grape hyacinth. The physical transformation was led by Mrs. Kennedy’s friend Rachel Lambert (“Bunny”) Mellon, wife of philanthropist Paul Mellon. Despite not having any formal landscape training, Bunny Mellon had a vision for the Rose Garden that was compatible with the First Family’s desire for a stately and inviting outdoor stage for both public and private activities.

 

JFKWHP-KN-C28009. Tulips blooming in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 1963.

JFKWHP-ST-A1-1-63. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (right) visits the White House Rose Garden, April 18, 1963.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunny Mellon died on March 17, 2014 at the age of 103, an event prompting considerable activity in the Kennedy Library’s audiovisual reference unit, particularly with regard to requests for images of Mrs. Mellon and the Rose Garden restoration project. The audiovisual reference team was unaware of any such images, until recent interest prompted a closer look at one image in particular, KN-20842. Research confirms that the woman standing in the background is Mrs. Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon.

 

JFKWHP-KN-20842 (edited). Rose Garden construction progress photo, with superimposed close ups of Bunny Mellon, who is featured in the background, April 4, 1962.

 

The restored Rose Garden offered President and Mrs. Kennedy a beautiful venue for holding events; it also brought joy to family members including young John F. Kennedy, Jr. It still brings joy to many. Mrs. Mellon’s garden continues to invite its visitors to stop, and smell the roses… and all of the other flowers, too.

 

JFKWHP-ST-C112-1-63. John F. Kennedy, Jr. in the Rose Garden, April 26, 1963.

 

References

[1] Abbott, James A. and Elaine M. Rice, Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1998), p. 9.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/04/a-bunny-in-the-rose-garden/

Apr
27

The Kennedy Library Joins GoodReads!

by Stacey Chandler, Reference Archivist

JFK Library BookshelfHere in the research room at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library we often get emails from students and scholars asking about books that might be helpful for their research topics. Until very recently, our solution was to email lists of books to our researchers, which they could print and use to find useful books at their local library or bookstore.

In honor of 2014 National Library Week, we started thinking about a way to make this process easier and more fun for our researchers (and our archivists!) and GoodReads, the social networking site for bookworms, is a perfect fit. You can visit our brand-new page here: https://www.goodreads.com/JFK_Library

GoodReads allows readers – even those who aren’t GoodReads members – to read book summaries and reviews written by both casual readers and scholars, and to see bookstores and libraries nearby that carry the book. Readers may also browse “Lists,” which can be edited by anyone in the GoodReads community, and other members’ “Bookshelves,” which can only be edited by the member who created the shelf.

Quite a few public libraries are already on GoodReads as “groups,” but we’re using our account a little differently because we want readers to see lists of books that we use to answer the thousands of questions we get each year. That’s why we joined as a member, rather than a group, and we’re using subject-based bookshelves (like JFK and the Media: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/30412750?shelf=jfk-and-media) to keep track of books that we’ve found helpful for our work at the library. The shelves, which you can see fully listed on our main page, complement our archival collections and show the wide range of topics we can answer questions about.

New books about John F. Kennedy are released all the time, and we’ll be adding them to our shelves as we read and use them. In creating these lists, we realized that some topics (JFK and Civil Rights: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/30412750-john-f-kennedy-presidential-library?order=a&shelf=jfk-and-civil-rights) have been so popular that we couldn’t even try to read them all, while other topics (JFK and Sports: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/30412750-john-f-kennedy-presidential-library?order=a&shelf=jfk-and-sports) were more sparse.

This project has helped us to realize that we’d love to see more work on President Kennedy’s economic policies and involvement in the arts, as well as more comprehensive biographies of the President’s cabinet members and advisors like Stewart Udall and Ted Sorensen. We’re hoping our lists will also help researchers to take note of topics that have been thoroughly covered or relatively neglected by historians – and maybe contribute a book or two to our shelves in the future!

We’re also updating existing records in GoodReads to make them more helpful for all readers. For example, we’re adding links to online versions of useful publications (like the essential Foreign Relations of the United States volumes: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6188868-foreign-relations-of-the-united-states-1961-1963-volume-iv) and adding verified citations for popular John F. Kennedy quotations (see our handiwork here: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97961-conformity-is-the-jailer-of-freedom-and-the-enemy-of).

Because we’re also home to the world’s largest collection of Ernest Hemingway’s papers, we’re planning to expand our Hemingway-related shelves and to update bibliographic records and Hemingway quotations to be as accurate as possible.

Find us on GoodReads and our other social media sites, including Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JFKLibrary), Twitter (https://twitter.com/jfklibrary), Instagram (http://instagram.com/jfklibrary), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/jfklibrary/), Tumblr (http://jfklibrary.tumblr.com/), and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/JFKLF).

Happy reading!

Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/04/were-using-goodreads/

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