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RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences The First Fifty digital audio recording collection

 Collection — Box: Scripts, Pictures, and Negatives
Identifier: RITArc-0610

Scope and Contents

The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences The First Fifty audio recording collection contains audio recordings of interviews conducted by Kevin Jergensen with prominent faculty and students of the school in connection with the 50th anniversary of the founding of SPAS. The interviews were used to create a film entitled The First Fifty. Original cassette recordings were digitized on 12/20/2012.


  • Creation: 1979-1981

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The School of Photography was founded at the former Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) in 1930 at the request of industrial photographic interests in the Rochester area. Such organizations included Bausch and Lomb Optical Company, Defender Photo Supply Company (now the E.I. DuPont De Nemours Company), Haloid Company (now the Xerox Corporation), and Eastman Kodak Company. The educational objective was to provide trained employees for these organizations as RAMI was already providing training in electrical, mechanical and other fields.

In 1966 faculty members elected to change the school's name from the School of Photography to the School of Photographic Arts and Science to more adequately describe the educational philosophy and objectives of the school.

Professor Wililam Soule Shoemaker remarked on the 50th anniversary of SPAS: "it is not boasting to note that RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Science is composed of a remarkable cadre of educators who are constantly striving for better educational methods and who are working in an outstanding facility made possible by far-seeing Trustees and Administraion and cooperatively equipped by an understanding industry."

On the 50th anniversary anniversary of SPAS, a film entitled The First Fifty was created to commemorate the history of the School. Various interviews were conducted with faculty and students of SPAS in conjunction with the making of the film.


16 Digital File(s) (Digital Audio Files )

.5 Linear Feet (1 document box with scripts, pictures, and negatives)




Audio files related to the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (SPAS) film The First Fifty. The film highlights the first fifty years of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. The collection includes audio recordings of interviews by Kevin Jergensen with prominent faculty members and students of SPAS.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by interviewee name.

Physical Location

For access, contact RIT Archive Collections. Files located at \\twcfileserver\Archives\Audiotape Files

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in the collection were given to the RIT Archive Collections by Erik Timmerman of the Photography department in 1980. Accession number(s): 1980:015

Existence and Location of Copies

As of 2017, RIT Archive Collections is maintaining a copy on DVD located on East Wall, Shelf 54.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jennifer Roeszies in August 2015.

RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences The First Fifty Audio Recording collection
RIT Archives
Jennifer Roeszies
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