Terry and Paula Connors Photograph Collection Guide

Terry and Paula Connors Photograph Collection

Collection Guide

Summary

Abstract
Negatives and digital photographs from Terry Connors' career as a freelance photographer in the Scranton area, primarily dated 1976-present. This collection documents significant events in and visitors to the Scranton area, including almost all significant public events at the University of Scranton.
Source
Terry and Paula Connors
Creator(s)
Terry Connors
Date Range
1966 - Present
Extent
Roughly 300,000 negatives, 50,000 digital photographs

Access and Use

Digital Access

Selected negatives and prints (1976-2005) relating to the University of Scranton have been digitized and are publicly available online.

Born digital photographs (2005 - present) are currently being processed. Photo sets may be made available upon researcher request. Contact archives@scranton.edu for more information (please include the Assignment Identifier).

Physical Access

Prints and negatives from the collection may be browsed by appointment in the Reading Room of the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections.

Rights

Connors did not document copyright permissions with clients, so the majority of the photographs in the collection are presumed to be work for hire, falling under the copyright of the client.

For photographs taken on University of Scranton assignments, copyright is held by the University of Scranton. Digitized images may be used freely, with attribution, for educational, research, or private purposes. To request permission for other uses, including commercial use, please contact the University Archives at archives@scranton.edu.

For photographs taken on assignments for other clients, the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections provides access to support research, scholarship, education, and private study under an assertion of fair use (17 U.S.C. 107). Responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission for any reuse that extends beyond fair use rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Item Title], [Folder], [Box], Terry and Paula Connors Photograph Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton. [Reference URL for digital objects]

Linked Data

Relevant named entities (LCNAF):


Contents

Administrative/Biographical History

Freelance photographer Terry Connors (1945- ), working in partnership with his wife Paula, has documented the public face of Lackawanna County for more than 30 years. Connors started his career working for a photographic studio, but in 1976 he began to work under the business name Photography by Terry Connors.

While Terry was the predominant photographer, Paula Connors was an integral part of the couple's business, running the office and coordinating administrative tasks, such as booking assignments and recording events. She would also work in the darkroom and sometimes accompanied Terry on assignments, especially to crowded events such as cocktail parties. She did not take photos herself. The collection does include photographs taken by the Connors' daughter Paula, who during the later years of Terry's career served as a secondary photographer at major events.

Connors began shooting digital photographs in Fall 2005. He did not drastically alter his photography between film and digital, though he would often take many more shots on his digital camera (not having to worry about running out of film). He would alter settings on his camera to adjust for lighting and color correction, but shot in available light whenever possible or used straight flash. He preferred Canon equipment.

For digital shoots, Connors would transfer image files from his digital camera to a computer via memory card. Files would then be backed up onto compact discs (CDs), such that the digital photos donated on CDs were generally organized chronologically (rather than by client or subject). The CDs store all photos taken during a shoot, of which only a selected few would be considered a "finished product" for the client. Connors did light editing for color correction, lighting, and cropping on these selected images, which he would then submit to clients via additional CDs.

Scope and Content Note

Connors' assignments were generally public relations events, including press conferences, check presentations, lectures, meetings, performances, award dinners, fundraisers, and posed publicity stills.

The collection is composed nearly entirely of publicity photographs, with several standard types and genres: action, head shot, group, overview, close-up, and posed shots. However, the collection also includes spontaneous, candid photos taken by Connors while on location or at an event.

Frequent clients included:

  • Colleges and Universities
    • Lackawanna College
    • Penn State University (Worthington Campus)
    • University of Scranton
  • Health Care
    • Community Medical Center (CMC)
    • Moses Taylor Hospital
    • Mountain View Care Center
    • Northeast Regional Cancer Institute
  • Local Agencies
    • Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
    • Lackawanna County Aging Office
  • Professional Organizations
    • Lackawanna Bar Association
  • Charities
    • Children's Advocacy Center
    • Ronald McDonald House
    • St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen
    • Scranton Area Foundation
  • Local Businesses
    • Diversified
    • Cigna
    • First Liberty Bank and Trust
    • NET Federal Credit Union
  • Religious Institutions
    • Diocese of Scranton
    • Catholic Light
    • IHM Sisters
    • Little Sisters of the Poor
    • St. Thomas More Society
  • Cultural and Social Groups
    • Catholic Choral Society
    • Mostly Opera
    • Scranton Country Club
    • Scranton Tomorrow

Assignments also include local appearances by many prominent figures, such as politicians (e.g. President George Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton), religious figures (Mother Teresa, Cardinal O'Connor), actors (Richard Harris, Glenda Jackson), musicians (Liberace, Wynton Marsalis), Nobel prize winners, military officials, international dignitaries, and other celebrities.

System of Arrangement

The Collection is divided into two major series: Negatives, Slides, and Prints (Series I) and Digital Photographs (Series II), accompanied by supplementary materials (Series III). In Fall 2005, Connors switched from shooting with film to digital photography, so there is little overlap between Series I and Series II, although there was a small transition period (2005-2006).

Inventory

Series I. Negatives, Slides, and Prints

The physical collection (Series I) is composed primarily of black-and-white photographic negatives from 1966 through 2005 (bulk 1979-1992). Most of the negatives are either 120 mm (75%) or 35mm (25%) film. The Collection also contains some color 35mm negatives as well as photographic slides and print photographs. This portion of the Collection is quite minor compared to the negatives. The material arrived, partially arranged, in an assortment of plastic and cardboard storage containers. The containers have a mix of years and assignments and the Collection needs further arrangement.

There are approximately 23,166 photographic assignments in correspondence envelopes containing approximately 100,000 negative strips, totaling more than 300,000 individual images. The estimate was created by counting all of the envelopes in the Collection, examining a sample of the envelopes, and estimating the number of strips and images based on the sample.

The 120mm negatives are organized by assignment with negative strips enclosed in polypropylene sleeves. All negatives sleeves from an assignment are housed in archival envelopes. The 35mm negatives are housed in polypropylene sleeves. The envelopes contain information on the employer for the assignment (University of Scranton, Moses Taylor Hospital, etc.), the month and year, and the specific event documented. University photos make up the bulk of the negatives (approximately 60%) with other major clients being the Chamber of Commerce, Moses Taylor, Keystone College, and Scranton Prep.

Series II. Digital Photographs

Digital photographs, donated on compact discs, include images taken on assignments dated Fall 2005 - Present.

Following successful transfer of the digital files from CDs into the Library's digital repository, the photographs were sorted into sets by assignment. Born digital photograph sets may be made available upon researcher request.

Series III. Supplementary Materials

A. Assignment Books and Worksheets

Red, bound assignment books provided additional information about the event as well as the specific time and date of the appointment. Assignment books are bound by volume (January - December), with the final volume ending in December 2007. Entries in assignment books generally include the date, time, client name, location, and a brief title for an event. Occasionally, contact information such as a phone number, address, or directions was also included.

Between 2005-2013, Connors also recorded information about his assignments on yellow legal pad worksheets. Worksheets document the date, client, and event and also include columns for codes such as Original (O), Reprint (R), Code (C), Amount (A), and Night (N) to help Connors track his assignments and charge clients appropriately. Like the assignment books, worksheets included date, time, client name, and a brief title for an event, but entries on the worksheets tend to be much more concise than entries in the assignment books.

Most assignments for 2005-2007 are recorded in both an assignment book and an assignment worksheet, though a small number of assignments only appeared in one or the other.

B. Photo Index Cards

Many of the CDs in Series II were accompanied by index cards, displaying the photographs from each CD. These index cards have been preserved temporarily during the processing and identification of the digital photographs (Series II). Index cards may be deaccessioned following the successful completion of processing and description.

C. CD Envelopes and Cases

Many of the CDs in Series II were enclosed in envelopes or cases, often labeled by Connors with handwritten notes about the assignments covered. These materials have been preserved temporarily during the processing and identification of the digital photographs (Series II). Envelopes and cases may be deaccessioned following the successful completion of processing and description.


Acquisition Information

Negatives were donated by Terry and Paula Connors in October 2008. The Connors donated CDs containing digital photographs in 2014 with subsequent accessions in 2015 and 2016.


Processing Notes

Digitization

Selected negatives from Series I have been digitized. Negatives were scanned in-house using an Epson Expression 10000XL flat-bed scanner. Digital images were generally captured at 800-1200 dpi, 24-bit color in uncompressed TIFF format. Digitized images were lightly edited in Photoshop to adjust color and lighting balance.

Processing CDs

Digital photographs were donated in the form of JPEG image files, stored primarily on commercial photo CDs (Kodak, Walgreens, Walmart) or Memorex CD/RW discs. Most of the CDs were stored in paper sleeves, envelopes, or jewel cases (Series III, Subseries C), though more recent CDs were stored in a stack. Most of the discs were not used to their full storage capacity. Most were in good condition.

CDs were stored in boxes roughly organized by year. More than one assignment would be stored on a single CD, and in many cases several CDs contain images from one assignment. Many CDs were labeled with date (year and month) and number and range of images (e.g., "images 561-625 of 1500"). Many of the Kodak and Walmart CDs also included photo index cards (Series III, Subseries B).

The first set of JPEG images were copied from CDs using our standard Digital Services workstation computer. A second set of CDs were copied in batch using an MF Digital Ripstation with DataGrabber software. Only JPEG images were preserved; ancillary photo CD software and files were excluded from the collection.

Prior to ingest into the Library's digital repository, some digital photograph files were excluded from the collection:

  • Personal and family photographs (where identified)
  • Photographic or camera errors (e.g., a photograph of the floor)
  • Highly under or overexposed photographs
  • Exact duplicates (identified using VisiPics)
  • Corrupted files

Photo Identification and Dating

Not all photos and negatives were dated or marked with identifying information. Special Collections staff have been able to identify and date many, but not all, photographs, using embedded metadata (for digital photographs) as well as comparison with photographs in the Aquinas student newspaper, Windhover yearbooks, and related newspaper clippings. Please contact us if you have information to share about a photograph in our collection.