Contact Print Collection
New Orleans Public Library
The collection (artificially named the "Contact Print" collection by an earlier curator) is comprised of small sepia toned prints, perhaps originally created as proofs, depicting locations in and around New Orleans, ca. 1912-1914. The collection's provenance is unknown, as is the name of the photographer (or photographers). The photographs fall into two main categories – photographs of Mississippi River scenes and photographs of private homes and public buildings. While there is no central theme or schemata, quite a few of the photographs depict areas in transition or buildings being readied for demolition. Further research will be necessary to identify many of the photographs.
The collection consists of 172 prints [approx. 3.5" x 3.5"]. The quality of the prints varies; some have faded considerably (or were badly printed initially.) The breakdown of the subject matter depicted in the photographs is as follows: 23 prints of private homes and commercial building in New Orleans; 20 prints of Jackson Barracks; 35 prints of the Mississippi River in or near New Orleans; 13 prints of New Orleans street scenes; 20 prints of the second Ursuline Convent; 48 images of the Vieux Carre; and 13 prints of miscellaneous subjects.
The prints are numbered and filed sequentially from 1 to 172 and are divided into seven subject categories. The digital versions of these images have been arranged onto seven “pages” corresponding to these subject categories. In order to capture the sepia tones of the images, they were scanned as color images at 500 dpi and saved as 4000 pixel TIFF files. For web display, the TIFFs were edited to produce 500 pixel JPEGs and, in order to compensate for the faded quality of many of the originals, they were enhanced using Adobe Photoshop. These 500 pixel JPEGs were then further edited to 150 pixel JPEG thumbnails.