The Library of Congress has acquired the photographic archive of renowned Civil Rights photographer Bob Adelman, who died last year at the age of 85. The archive, which was provided to the library as a gift from an anonymous donor, includes 575,000 images. About 50,000 of those images are prints, and the rest are negatives and slides, the library said in its March 20 announcement of the gift.
Adelman photographer leading figures and seminal events of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. He stood a few feet from Martin Luther King, Jr., photographing the the Civil Rights leader as he delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington. Adelman documented lunch counter protests, police attacks with dogs and fire hoses against protesters in Birmingham, and freedom march from Selma to Montgomery.
He also photographed the speeches and funeral of Malcolm X, riots in Newark and Harlem during the late 1960s, and the hardships of African-American life in both rural and urban areas. Adelman, who was white, approached the Civil Rights movement as an activist and artist, rather than a journalist, and served as a volunteer photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s.
In addition to his Civil Rights work, he photographed people, events and other social issues from 1960 until 2000. Those photographs are included in the donation to the Library of Congress.
“My life’s work, in addition to being about race relations, is about the many and diverse social concerns in the great tradition of American documentary photography: poverty, mental illness, alcoholism, inadequate housing, the immigrant experience, prostitution, delinquency, illiteracy and on and on,” Adelman is quoted as saying in the Library of Congress announcement.
The Library of Congress will house the Adelman archive in its Prints and Photographs division. The library offers access to its collections on site and online, but offered no details in the announcement about how or when the Adelman archive will be made accessible to the public.
A year after NPR photographer David Gilkey and journalist Zabihullah Tamanna were killed in Afghanistan, NPR is reporting that their deaths were the result of a targeted Taliban attack, not a random attack as Afghan officials originally claimed. The two journalists died June 5 while riding with a unit of the Afghan National Army in... More ›
French photojournalist Mathias Depardon has been released from prison in Turkey one month after his arrest, and is now on his way to Paris. The news was reported by Reporters without Borders, and confirmed in a statement from French president Emmanuel Macron. Depardon, a French citizen based in Istanbul, was on assignment for National Geographic... More ›
In preparation for PDN’s July issue on Ethics, we asked photojournalist Victor J. Blue to explain what he does and doesn’t do to gain access, how he avoids conflicts of interest, his thoughts on fairness vs. neutrality, and the “Define the Relationship” talk he has with his subjects. More ›