|The collection consists of photographs from Magnum Photos' New York bureau, dating
1929 to 2004. Black-and-white (gelatin silver prints) photographs make up the bulk
collection, but also included are a few color photographs, inkjet prints, and copy
transparencies (slides). The photographs show the world and its people, events, issues,
geography, and personalities as captured through the lenses of Magnum members. The
this collection were made to distribute to publishers, the media, advertisers, museums,
galleries from around the globe. Nearly half the photographs were sent out for assignments
and returned, and thus show evidence of much handling. The backs of many of the photographs
are marked and stamped, evidence of their usage and the different filing systems used
Magnum. Many of the marks, stamps, and notes are in English, but there are a variety
other languages present throughout the collection. While many of these are noted in
Language statement, it is possible other languages are present.
|Since its foundation in 1947, Magnum has used a number of filing systems (the current
system arranges photographs by story number). The original physical order of the collection
is largely preserved, but in order to facilitate search and retrieval, some original
were moved so that the photographs could be grouped into following five series: Series
Photographers; Series II. Personalities; Series III. Subjects; Series IV. Geographical;
Series V. Magnum. All subjects and titles in this preliminary inventory are those
by Magnum; additions by Ransom Center staff appear in brackets.
|The first series, Photographers, is comprised of boxes containing the works of single
photographers only, and it is in alphabetical order by photographer. In general the
follow each photographer's career chronologically, occasionally ending with a portfolio
exhibition prints. Box descriptions that are seven digits long (e.g., 1944001) are
specific stories; the first four digits represent the year of the story and the last
digits represent the story number within a given year.
|Series II, Personalities, consists of images of notable figures from around the world.
Included are portraits and snapshots of world leaders, politicians, artists, authors,
activists, sports figures, actors and actresses, designers, architects, musicians,
celebrated people. Each personality received his or her own folder, so the majority
show a range of names rather than a single name. Individual names are displayed either
they appear in nationally recognized authority sources, including the Library of Congress
Name Authority File (LCNAF), the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), or the
Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names (ULAN), or have been formed in accordance
with the American Library Association's guidelines for Resource Description & Access
(RDA). Dates appearing in conjunction with names are the life and/or death dates of
|The third series, Subjects, consists of generic, domestic topical subjects, and excludes
personalities and foreign countries. All subjects are listed alphabetically.
|Series IV, Geographical, is divided first by continent or world region, and then subdivided
by country and listed alphabetically.
|The final series, Magnum, is comprised of portraits and snapshots of Magnum photographers,
staff, contributors and meetings. Additionally there are groups of images collected
Magnum members for specific projects. Individual names are displayed as they appear
nationally recognized authority sources. Dates appearing in conjunction with names
life and/or death dates of the subject.
|This finding aid replaces an earlier preliminary inventory, which was created when
collection was on deposit, that described much of the collection at the box-level.
that time, all materials were archivally housed in accordance with current preservation
standards for photographic materials. All photographs were placed in protective sleeves
new boxes. For the protection of the materials, photographs measuring more than 8
1/2 x 11
inches were separated from the smaller prints. The smaller prints are housed in folders
stored vertically in standard document boxes. All larger prints are housed in sleeves
backer board for support. In order to minimize the handling of these prints while
maintaining access to the information contained on their versos, the versos were reproduced
on archival paper and placed in the sleeve, on the opposite side of the photograph,
the backer board.
|Researchers seeking additional information about the original arrangement of the collection or any of Magnum's original filing schemes may contact the Head of
Description and Access, Visual Materials. Errors in the finding aid should also be brought to her attention.
Acknowledgment of Potentially Harmful, Offensive, and Graphic Language
|The materials in this collection are a product of their time and may use language
scenes and acts that are not acceptable by today’s standards. Further, due to the
the collection and the broad range of subjects, people, places, and events covered,
materials depict and describe sensitive or graphic scenes and acts that could be emotionally
triggering. The original folder titles may not always sufficiently indicate the breadth
content held within the folder, leading to encounters with potentially disturbing
without direct warning.
|This statement is not intended to censor, divert, or discourage users from accessing
collection. Instead, the aim is to provide users with the opportunity to consciously
with the materials along with their historical context. Through their study, users
develop new and deeper comprehension, while fostering thought and discussion pertaining
the various topics covered within the Magnum Photos Photography Collection.
Statement on Language in Ransom Center Descriptive Records
|The Harry Ransom Center aims to describe collection materials in a manner that is
respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented
holdings. The Center's cataloging departments follow standards and guidelines recognized
the American Library Association, the Society of American Archivists, and the American
Alliance of Museums. Despite these efforts, users may encounter offensive or harmful
language in the Center's descriptive records, such as terminology or language that
racist, sexist, outdated, or exclusionary. In some instances, this language was used
people and organizations that created the material or by outside sources describing
materials prior to acquisition by the Center. In other cases, past practices and language
used by Ransom Center staff was not or is no longer appropriate. The Center recognizes
descriptive practices and terminology evolve over time and that efforts to create
and inclusive description must be ongoing. The Center encourages users to provide
to support these actions. Please contact the Center if you encounter concerning or
inaccurate descriptions by notifying Ransom Center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
will review the description and determine what updates or changes are available. Revisions
may include providing additional context and/or replacing problematic terminology.