Noted American photojournalist who worked for LOOK magazine; resident of New York, N.Y. The collection spans the years 1953 to 2006 and houses a nearly-complete photographic archive of photojournalist James Karales, active from the 1950s to the 1980s. The majority of the images in the collection originated from Karales' documentary work for Look magazine during the 1960s. His major projects include images from Rendville, Ohio, a coal mining town and one of the first racially integrated towns in Appalachia; Vietnam during the war; New York's Lower East Side; Oregon logging; and individuals and events of the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s, housed in three inter-related groups - the Martin Luther King, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and Civil Rights Series. Other smaller projects include images of California, New Mexico, and other subjects. Formats in the collection include contact sheets, which serve as a thumbnail guide to almost all of the prints and negatives in the collection; black-and-white proof prints and finished prints ranging from 8.5x14 to 16x20 inches; original negatives (closed to research use); and over 1100 color slides. There are also many print materials and some correspondence and audiovisual materials. Acquired by the Center of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
The collection spans the years 1953 to 2006 and houses a nearly complete photographic archive of well-known 20th century American photojournalist James Karales. The majority of the images in the collection originated from Karales' documentary work for Look magazine during the 1960s. The collection is organized around the following project series: Rendville, Ohio, a declining coal mining town and one of the first racially integrated towns in Appalachia; Vietnam, where Karales documented many scenes from the Vietnam War - the largest series in the collection; the Lower East Side, featuring street scenes and portraits from that New York City neighborhood; and Logging, where Karales documented the Pacific Northwest logging industry's practices and culture. Finally, Karales also shot many images of individuals and events of the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s, housed in three inter-related groups: the Martin Luther King Series; Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Series; and the Civil Rights Series.
There is also a small group of supporting materials in the Manuscript and Printed Materials Series and the Audiovisual Materials Series that includes biographical documents such as Karales' curriculum vitae; Karales' essays on photography and teaching; publicity for exhibits and other events; correspondence with publishers; digitized images of Vietnam photos on a CD; and clippings, magazine layouts, and other materials related to Karales' published work. One recently dated item is an audiocassette of remarks on Karales' life and works made by Sam Stephenson at the opening of an exhibit of Karales' work at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University.
Publications where Karales' works appeared include Look, Life, Saturday Review, Pageant, Coronet, Popular Photography, Time-Life books, and several encyclopedias. Karales also produced commercial work for corporate annual reports. The collection does not include Karales' photojournalistic work from East Germany (1970), or Gheel, Belgium (1961). A number of Karales' images from the U.S. civil rights movement achieved iconographic status, and were - and still are - widely reproduced. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Formats in the collection include contact sheets, which serve as a thumbnail guide to most but not all of the prints and negatives in the collection; black-and-white proof prints and finished prints ranging from 8.5x14 to 16x20 inches; original negatives (closed to research use); and several hundred color slides. Unless otherwise noted, the photographic items are arranged in the following sequence in each series: contact sheets, prints (from smallest to largest), slides, negatives, and finally, duplicates. There are also digital jpeg files for selected images in certain series (Vietnam, Rendville). One print in the Civil Rights series was created by documentary photographer Alex Harris for an exhibit at Duke University and is noted in the collection guide's entry for this print.
Beginning with the contact sheets, researchers using the collection can note any identifying codes for the image, which may include Karales' job number (Karales assigned most of his jobs or photographic projects alpha-numeric codes), roll number, and frame (image) number, in that order. Whenever possible, Rubenstein staff have included these numbers with individual prints and negatives and within the collection's inventory to aid in matching nd discovery. In addition, staff have noted where film rolls are located within folders. For finished prints (typically 11x14 inches and larger), individual descriptions and unique Rubenstein library identifiers (beginning with "RL") have been assigned. There are a few images that have no identifying numbers and could not otherwise be identified from contact sheets or negatives. Such captions appear in brackets.
In order to facilitate the use of the materials, please consult with a Research Services archivist before coming to use this collection.
Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.