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Lewis Wickes Hine Papers

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Repository: Richard and Ronay Menschel Library, George Eastman Museum
Creator: Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940
Source: Photo League (1936-1951)
Title: Lewis Wickes Hine papers
Date [inclusive]: 1904-1940, undated
Physical Description: 1.25 Linear Feet 3 document boxes
Language of the Material: English

Scope & Contents: The Lewis Wickes Hine papers, which date from 1904 to 1940, comprise correspondence, manuscripts, printed material, and ephemera that provide a glimpse into the life and work of Lewis Hine, whose pioneering work as a documentary photographer brought to light the horrors of child labor practices, the challenges faced by immigrants arriving in the United States, and poor living and working conditions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Much of the material bears Hine’s handwritten notes and instructions to his typist. Incoming and outgoing correspondence dating from 1931 to 1939 is concerned with Hine’s efforts to secure work during the last decade of his life by asking friends for contacts and references. Many letters are responses from people to whom Hine sent copies of his published work. Correspondents of note include Alfred E. Smith, whose corporation built and operated the Empire State Building; reformer Jane Addams; and journalist and activist Paul U. Kellogg. Of special note in the collection are drafts of a manuscript Hine wrote to accompany a career retrospective commissioned by the Russell Sage Foundation; Hine's research on child labor laws; and what appear to be his field notes for the "Child Labor in the Carolinas" photo-study. The collection also includes a catalogue for the Hine Photo Company circa 1907, page proofs of advertisements for Sloan's Liniment featuring Hine's photographs, and Hine’s business card.

Creation of this finding aid was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant #MA-30-15-0019-15.