Penumbra Foundation library team is pleased to announce that a finding aid for the Penumbra Foundation Library Collection has recently been published, and it can be viewed here.

Penumbra has been diligently working with the New York University’s Digital Library Technology Services to digitize over 100 rare and early photographic manuals and lens catalogs that are part of the Penumbra Foundation Library Collection. Working with NYU/DLTS has allowed Penumbra to digitally preserve these materials for the long term, and make them available to the public via the finding aid. These digital files will be maintained in perpetuity by the NYU Archives. The physical collection is housed at the Penumbra offices.

A finding aid is a tool that facilitates discovery of information about a specific collection. It assists users in gaining access to a collection and provides a basic understanding of the materials within the collection.

Although finding aids are an academic staple, Penumbra is in the process of creating even easier access to these rare and important materials through searchable PDFs and re-publication of the digital files. These PDF’s will be made available on the Penumbra website in the near future.

We want to hear from you!

What content would you like to see from the Penumbra Foundation Library Collection? Many of these manuals and lens catalogs provide formula information from a specific period in time. Is there a photographic process that you are most interested to learn historic information about? Do you want to learn more about the steps Penumbra is taking to preserve these materials?

Let us know in the comments section below.


Image © Mary Ellen Bartley. High Stack (2017), from the series “Library Copies”. Courtesy of the artist.


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