In Fall 2000, the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation generously granted the Center for American History's request for funding to rehouse and enhance access to the Jimmie A. Dodd Photographs Collection. Housed at the Center since its acquisition in 1983, this collection contains over 11,000 negatives and prints from Dodd's career as a professional freelance and commercial photographer during the period from 1937 to 1966. The images document numerous aspects of Kingsville, the King Ranch, Kleberg County, and other Texas cities and towns.
The preservation portion of the project stabilized the Dodd Collection by addressing the double threat of acidic enclosures and the housing of multiple negatives per enclosure. Project staff rehoused the negatives, removing them from their original, highly acidic housings and placing them into archival-quality paper enclosures. The staff created a database featuring Dodd's original documentation, all of which was subsequently transferred to the new enclosures.
Project staff selected a representative group of images from the collection during the rehousing phase. Of these 400 images, a final 150 were pulled and scanned for inclusion as positive images on the Center's website. These images were categorized according to subject matter. Staff made selections based on the content of the image, how well it represented the Dodd Collection and 20th century South Texas, and whether the images depicted significant events, places, or people.
A collection inventory and photo order form are included in the website to enhance access to the material. Project equipment will enable staff to deliver both low-resolution scans of images for review or research, and high-resolution scans for publication or exhibits. Any scanned images will be retained in a digital archive for future use so as to avoid using the fragile vintage negatives.
An additional benefit beyond providing access to the Jimmie A. Dodd negatives, the access described above is intended to serve as a prototype for access to restricted images in other Center photographic collections and in other repositories as well.
Collection Inventory ~ Dodd Home ~ Text Index ~ Order Copies