Photo courtesy ASMP member David Hume Kennerly
History of Archives
The Archives of the American Society of Media Photographers (the “Society”) is a preeminent collection of primary sources documenting the history of the Society and photography in America, and is dedicated to preserving the association’s work product and the contribution of work product by the association’s members in their roles as industry leaders and influencers.
Founded in New York in 1944 by a group of magazine photographers, the Society, initially the American Society of Magazine Photographers, commenced the generation of documentation during those founding years of organizing to protect and promote its working members, which has become the foundation of the current collection of documentation and primary sources of the Archives.
As the Society arrives at its 75th anniversary, the Society’s National Board and its staff is working to establish the Archives as a resource to serve as a point of reference for legal briefs, dissertations, exhibitions, catalogs, articles, and books on American photography and photographers, by preserving the history of its members and the art of photography, which without a central repository such as the Archives would otherwise be lost.
The Society looks for the Archives to become a vital resource to anyone interested in the American photography culture over the past 75 years with its collection of letters, financial records, legal records, photographs, audio recordings of founding members, and various documentation generated by ASMP members, association directors, legal advisors, and industry leaders over the past seven decades.
To learn more about the incredible collection of documents in the Archives, listen to the ASMP Experts & Masters podcast (Episode 23) with ASMP Executive Director Tom Kennedy and ASMP Archives Curator Grayson Dantzic.
Supporting the Archives
If you would like to support the Archives with a donation through an estate or foundation, please contact ASMP legal counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanding the Archives
The Society not only wants to preserve the current collection of work, but would like the Archives to continue growing. With the rich and vibrant work of its member, the Society would like to invite its members and the broader photography community to consider contributing a piece of work, and/or any documentation related to the history of the photographic arts in America to the Archives.
Through collecting, preserving, and providing future access to its collection, the Society looks to providing its resources to inspire new ways of interpreting visual arts in America, and provide current and future generations a place to explore and study pieces of America’s rich photographic heritage.
If you would like to contribute creative work or documentation to the Archives, please complete the form below, and include the Release Form.
Note: Check the applicable permission boxes on the release form. Archive permission includes use for research, exhibition, and promotion of ASMP and ASMP programming. Photoville Slideshow permission includes use to promote 75th Anniversary activities through Dec. of 2021; media-related, i.e., website, social media, and email communications, and potential travel exhibitions to various venues in U.S.