Eastman House student seeks slide collections for project

Thesis research will explore the slide show as a cultural product in mid-20th century America

For Release 2010-01-26

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Did you have fun shooting slides a few decades back? Well, at George Eastman House there is someone who won’t groan or duck into the kitchen when you pull out your slide collection! She’s actually inviting you to do so. Jenn DiCocco of Philadelphia, a graduate student in Eastman House’s master of arts program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, is hoping to sit down with you for an afternoon to talk and see your slides. The preferred era for the slide collections is the 1950s and 1960s.

For her thesis project, DiCocco is interested in researching the slide show’s position as a cultural product in mid-20th century America. She will be conducting this research in Rochester, the home of Kodak, which dominated production of slide film, projectors, and carousels. Eastman House hosted the ceremony in 2004 when Kodak announced it was no longer producing the slide projector, donating the final two off the production line to the Eastman House and Smithsonian archives.

“I wish to explore how people view slides, and if the methodologies used to look at traditional family albums can be applied to looking at a family slideshow,” DiCocco said. 

DiCocco hopes to speak to three to five owners of slide collections, or the descendants of original owners. Although not necessary, it is desirable for slides to be organized in carousels, allowing the slides to be viewed in the order the owner intended. The meeting can take place at your home or in a screening room at Eastman House. In return for your time, DiCocco will be happy to share tips for preserving your slide and photograph collections.

The desired subject matter of the slide content is vast, with a focus more on people and events than on landscapes alone. Those interested may contact DiCocco at (610) 235-7132 or rochesterfamilyslideshow@gmail.com.

DiCocco is in her second year of the master’s degree program, which Eastman House offers in conjunction with Toronto’s Ryerson University. The program began in 2004, with students spending their first year studying at Ryerson and their second at Eastman House. The program is the only one of its kind in the world, aligning university coursework with hands-on archive research. Graduates are equipped to meet demands in photographic preservation and in managing and preserving photographic collections. Faculty includes photographic historians, scientists, practitioners, curators, and museum professionals.

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