Description: W:\archives\Inventory\heading2.jpg
Manuscript Collection





The Center for Popular Music holds approximately 12,500 photographs and iconographic items.  The collection includes images made by various photographic processes and iconographic images in other formats, such as lithographs, postcards, and trade cards.


Physical Description:

The various photographic processes included in the collection are:  daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, black and white prints (mounted and unmounted), 35mm negatives, color slides, and color prints. Other images in the collection include postcards, trade cards, advertising cards, photocopies, lithographs, and digital reproduction prints.  Black and white and color negatives, color slides, black and white and color prints are all stored together according to collection name and accession number (if applicable).



ca. 1860 - present



Accessioned photographs and other images were acquired individually, in small groups, as part of a larger collection, or generated by CPM staff.  Some were purchased, others donated.  Unaccessioned and uncataloged photographs (the Names file) are primarily publicity shots of individuals or music-related groups that were initially part of a publicity packet sent to the Center. 


Scope and content:

Photographic and iconographic items in the Center’s collection reflect American popular music by representing or documenting the performer, group, producer, manager, or artist; musical instrument; performance, event or venue, advertisement, instruction, or other relevant categories.  A large portion of the collection consists of individual images of or associated with a specific musician, artist, band, or group, some known and some unknown.


The Center also documents its own public lectures and performances. CPM images

consist of photographs associated with a performance, lecture, or event sponsored by or

with the Center. This category also includes any music-related event, place, or

performance photographed and documented by Center staff.


 “Manuscript” images are photographs associated with a larger collection of manuscript materials or smaller groups consisting only of photographs. Of particular note are the Cusic collection of gospel performers, the Avery collection of jazz performers, and the Harold L. Baldwin collection of Grand Ole Opry photographs. The Center also holds 15 manuscript scrapbooks that contain many iconographic images.





Iconographic images are located in the Iconographic section of the compact shelving system opposite the Manuscript collection against the ramp. All cataloged images are housed in boxes.  All of the cataloged groups, except for CPM-PR, are filed numerically by catalog number.  CPM-PR images are filed in alphabetical order by event. Individual or smaller groups of manuscript images (MAN-PR) are located in the Iconographic section in the drawer labeled MAN-PR.  Original manuscript images associated with a larger Manuscript group (MAN-PR) are filed by accession number group in the Manuscripts section of the mezzanine shelves and cross-referenced in the Iconographic files. Photographs comprising the “Names” category remain uncataloged and are located in the Iconographic filing cabinets, filed alphabetically by name.


Oversize Images refer to any item that is too large to file in its usual location. These are either located in the oversize gray boxes (“OV”) or stored in the extra-large metal cabinet in the stacks (“XL”). One oversize box is located in the Iconographic filing cabinet and another is a larger box located on the oversize metal shelves. These items are noted by the added characters “OV” or “XL” in the InMagic catalog Item ID field.


Related Materials:

Many photographs are associated with performers, events, or groups for which the Center holds sheet music, songbooks, sound recordings, performance documents, and vertical file materials. The performance collection contains many iconographic items in the form of posters, photographs, advertisements, and playbills. These are all searchable through the InMagic database in the reading room by keyword or subject. The reading room collection contains books and periodicals associated with individual and group performers, instruments, musical genre, and other related subjects, searchable through the Walker Library catalog.


For Iconographic Names, please see the finding aid labeled Iconographic Name File in the main reading room.

Accessing the collection:

The collection may be accessed through several paths. All cataloged photographs and iconographic items are searchable through the InMagic in-house Combined database and online through the CPM website. The title of the collection is “Photographs.” Manuscript images (those associated with a larger Manuscript collection) are also searchable through the InMagic Combined catalog and the red Special Collections Inventory notebooks located in the reading room.  A list or finding aid for the Iconographic Names is available in hard copy and online.


Items in the Photographs collection are arranged in four large groups:  

General, Biographical, Manuscript, and CPM (Center for Popular Music generated).

[The Iconographic Names category is not cataloged, but a finding aid is available.]


1.) General: Items of general nature not primarily associated with any single person or performance group.  Some, but not all of these are cataloged and digitized.  These are filed numerically by catalog number.


Field conventions for the General Iconographic collection are as follows:


Photographic and Lithographic Images.  (GEN-PR):  Any photographic image, selected printed images, stereo cards acquired individually by CPM and usually not part of a larger collection.  These are all cataloged in the InMagic database.


General Cards. (GEN-CD):  This consists of photo postcards, standard postcards, sheet music postcards, and trade cards not associated with any particular artist or group, that are recorded in the InMagic database. 


Framed Images.  (GEN-FR): Tintypes, daguerreotypes, and other images that

cannot, should not, or need not be removed from their original frames. These are searchable in the InMagic database.



2.) Biographical Images. (BIO-PR):  Primarily photographs or images of known or identified individual performers or musical groups. Most of these images are part of an accession group, but a few may have been part of the “Iconographic Names” files. They are filed numerically by catalog number. All are searchable in the Photographs category in InMagic.


Biographical cards. (BIO-CD):  photo postcards, standard postcards, sheet music postcards, and trade cards of a known performer or group in card format.  Filed numerically by Item ID number.



3.) Manuscript Images. (MAN-PR): Photographic or other images associated with larger Manuscript collections in the CPM holdings or smaller groups consisting only of photographs. The original image or images associated by provenance with a larger Manuscript collection are filed by accession number group in the Manuscripts section. A cross-reference is maintained in the main Photographs MAN-PR files. Manuscript groups consisting of photographs only are stored in the main Iconographic area of the stacks. MAN-PR images are searchable through the InMagicManuscript  Collection” in the Combined database and also in the Special Collections Inventory notebooks located in the reading room. They are filed alphabetically by title of the manuscript collection, but may be searched by Item ID in the InMagic catalog. Please note that there is usually only one catalog record in the Photographs Collection category for each manuscript collection containing photographs.  This is a catalog record for the overall collection and the number or amount of photographs within each collection varies from one to thousands. Please contact the CPM archivist for assistance.


4.) CPM Generated Photographic and Digital Images. (CPM-PR): Photographic images

associated with a performance, lecture, or event sponsored by or with the Center

for Popular Music.  Any event, place, or performance documented by CPM staff in

photographic form is also included in the CPM category.  CPM-PR images are searchable

in the InMagic catalog. They are filed alphabetically by event.


Uncataloged Categories:

Iconographic NAMES containing images of particular artists and motion picture titles that

have not been cataloged.  Many are promotional publicity shots of artists. Since these are

mostly black & white publicity photographs, it is questionable whether they can be used

without securing copyrights, therefore the decision was made not to digitize them.  These

are filed alphabetically by name. A finding aid is available in the reading room.


Note: Iconographic SUBJECT contained images filed alphabetically by subject under

broad subject headings. This category is no longer in existence. All photographs have been

dispersed and cataloged into one of the above catalog groups.



LPC  April 2003

Updated November 2011