Skip to main content

Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley

 Collection — Box: 20- People Files
Identifier: RITArc-0151

Scope and Contents

The Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley consists of several documents related to Hattersley and his career. The collection includes clippings, an interview transcript, and a memorial book. The selection of clippings date from 1955-1975 with some being about Hattersley and others being written by Hattersley.

Of interest is a transcript of an interview conducted with Hattersley sometime after he left the school. In the interview Hattersley explains his relationship to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), discusses his teaching methods, recounts his experiences at RIT, and provides his opinion on the state of the school's photography program. The interview was conducted as part of an investigation into the history of RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

The collection also includes a memorial book created for Hattersley after he died. The book contains biographical information on the former RIT professor, as well as recollections from several of his former students. There are also some examples of Hattersley's work.


  • Creation: 1955-2000

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Ralph M. Hattersley, Jr. (1921-2000) was born on March 31, 1921 in Montana. He grew up in Conrad, a city in the northwest part of Montana. After graduating from high school, Hattersley spent a year studying art at the University of Washington. He left the school to attend Montana State College in 1941. Two years later, Hattersley joined the U.S. Navy. While in the navy, he attended photography school in Pensacola, FL and served on the Atlantic Fleet Camera Party, spending most of his time in Trinidad. He was discharged from the navy in 1946.

Upon returning to the U.S., Hattersley enrolled in the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute's (renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1944) photography program. He graduated from the school in 1948 and began teaching in the Department of Photographic Technology. In 1949, he was offered a full-time faculty position, which he accepted. Having both an art and photography background, Hattersley taught photoillustration and art-based photography classes at the Institute for the next thirteen years.

After teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Hattersley moved to New York City. While there, he taught at various institutions including Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts. He served as a contributing editor to Popular Photograph starting in 1957. Hattersley died on February 5, 2000.

Selected Works

Discover Your Self Through Photography
Beginner's Guide to Photography
Beginner's Guide to Darkroom Techniques
Photographic Printing
Beginner's Guide to Photographing People
Beginner's Guide to Color Photography
Photographic Lighting
Beginning Photography
Beginner's Guide to Color Printing


1 Folder(s) (Materials are housed in the RIT People Files with other collections)




Materials related to Ralph M. Hattersley and his time at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Hattersley was a professor of photography at RIT from 1949-1962. The collection includes an interview transcript, clippings, and a memorial book written for Hattersley.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 814, Box 20

Related Materials

There are several prints and glass transparencies done by Hattersley that are stored off-site in Frank E. Gannett Hall (Building 7B). Please contact the RIT Archive Collections for more information.

Ralph M. Hattersley contact sheets, negatives, and other material

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in April 2011.

Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
14 April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA