Editor’s Note: There is an infrastructure supporting the history of photography, sometimes in public, sometimes hidden away in specialized places known only to a few. One of those places is the “morgue” at the New York Times, containing clippings and research material going back to the beginning of the paper. Archivist Jeff Roth, who runs the morgue, knows his way around pretty well. The remarkable Steven Heller has a blog, The Daily Heller, with a continuing series where he asks Roth to come up with some of his favorites. The latest is on the transcendent Pete Seeger.
This is another in a mini-series of archival selections from Jeff Roth, a remarkable archivist and storehouse of little known knowledge, who has not only helped with some of my projects but runs the New York Times morgue, where folders filled with clips and photographs are buried. I’ve asked him to chose five of his favorite images and tell us why. Today he reflects on the file of the great American folk singer and social activist “Pete Seeger.”
“Some of my earliest memories are of singing along with the Weavers LP’s. How could any sprite not love Pete Seeger? He spent his whole life in pursuit of Peace through participatory singing. The Seeger clan was steeped in words and song. Papa Charles, America’s pioneering musicologist, Mother Constance, concert violinist, Uncle Alan, the tragic poet of war (“I Have a Rendezvous With Death”) and of course, half-sister and brother, Peggy and Mike, the great folksingers.”