Historians and other humanities scholars have long relied upon written texts, but they are increasingly turning to images to enrich their understanding of the past. Similarly, art historians, critics, and curators have increasingly turned to the Archive as a subject of study and a source for exhibitions. As a result it has become progressively important for archivists, public historians, curators, and museum professionals to understand and identify visual documents. This course will survey techniques of visual reproduction, focus on cultivating the ability to identify visual genres, and explore how scholars from various disciplines use visual materials for research. We will study historical processes of reproduction, such as photography and printing techniques, but will also examine printed books, audiovisual materials, and digital files as visual objects. The course is directed at curators, archivists, public historians, and others who need to be able to identify and understand these genres and formats. We will read works by scholars who utilize or study visual resources, and will work closely with visual documents from the collections of the Fales Library & Special Collections, as well as other archives in New York City.
Syllabus / Class Blog
The Historian and the Visual Record Blog (Spring 2012)
Both Archives and Public History