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Carolyn Cole Photographic Archive

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A young Liberian fighter takes his turn defending the capital of Monrovia where standoffs between rebel and government militias hold the city under siege. Monrovia, Liberia 2003(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
A U.S. marine is covered in camouflage face paint during the battle for Najaf, Iraq, where American forces spent weeks bombing and fighting their way to the city's holy Imam Ali Shrine, before negotiating an end to the fighting.  Najaf, Iraq, 2004 (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Seven-year-old Dillon Chancey clung to trees and rooftops to survive the deadly storm surge that demolished his parent's Biloxi home. Exhausted but alive, Dillon helps comb through the rubble to find what's left of their belongings. Biloxi, Mississippi, 2005. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
An image of Saddam Hussein, riddled with bullet holes, is painted over by Salem Yuel. Symbols of the former leader disappeared quickly throughout Baghdad soon after U.S. troops arrived in the Baghdad and took control.  Baghdad, Iraq, 2003.  (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Controlled fires burn around the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig, in an effort to disperse some of the nearly 5 million barrels of oil leaked after a rig explosion in September 2010. Gulf of Mexico, 2010 (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

The Briscoe Center is pleased to announce that it is now the permanent home of the archive of Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Carolyn Cole. A veteran photographer at the Los Angeles Times, Cole is best known for her conflict photography, including assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Liberia (for which she won a Pulitzer).

“Carolyn Cole is an outstanding photojournalist whose body of work on global conflict has rightfully won many awards,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “It is through the lens of photographers like Carolyn that Americans gain an understanding of what’s happening in the world. For historians, her archive represents a trove of information that doesn’t simply tell us about what happened in the past, but how those events were presented and perceived. 

Cole studied photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to the Los Angeles Times, she has worked the San Francisco Examiner, the Sacramento Bee, and the El Paso Herald Post.

In 2004, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her photographs of civil conflict in Liberia. She has been a finalist on five other occasions: for work on the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the 2005 withdrawal of Israel from Gaza, political violence in Kenya in 2008, the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

"I've witnessed many of the important news events of the last 30 years, but the difficult part about being a breaking news photographer is that you just keep moving forward," said Cole. "Donating my collection to the Briscoe Center will enhance its visibility and make it more accessible in a way that it currently isn't—my photographs will get a second life beyond the news cycles."

Since 1994, Cole has been based on both coasts covering national and international news for the Los Angeles Times. Major domestic assignments have included the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Columbine school shooting in Colorado in 1999, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the general election of 2016. A recipient of the Robert Capa and the George Polk awards, Cole was named Photojournalist of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Her work continues to be exhibited around the world.

The Carolyn Cole Photographic Archive includes negatives, prints, tear sheets, correspondence, and ephemera, as well as thousands of photographs, the vast majority of which are unpublished. The archive will be processed in early 2019 and made available for research shortly after.