Sunday, August 14, 2022

Ebony and Jet Magazine’s Photo Archive to Be Digitized

General Hospital’s Laura Carrington and David Wallace on cover of Jet Magazine

*The Getty Trust will spend $30 million to digitize over four million negatives and prints from Jet and Ebony magazines. 

We reported previously that a consortium comprising the Ford Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, recently announced the official transfer of ownership of the acclaimed Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) archive to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and to the Getty Research Institute, a program of the Getty Trust.

Per Vibe, “after the sale of its magazines, JPC retained ownership of its photography negatives, photos, and both audio and visual recordings.” After the digitization of these images, they will go on display at the NMAAHC in Washington, DC, according to the report.

Kevin Young, director of the NMAAHC, stated: “For decades, Ebony and Jet documented stories of Black celebrity, fashion, and the Civil Rights Movement and provided an opportunity for African Americans to see an authentic public representation of themselves while also offering the world a fuller view of the African American experience.” He added, “Our museum is proud that this significant and iconic collection of African American images will be housed in our museum and preserved for generations to study, observe and enjoy.”

READ MORE: Ebony Magazine Website is Down Following End of Beloved Publication

“For decades, Ebony and Jet documented stories of Black celebrity, fashion, and the Civil Rights Movement and provided an opportunity for African Americans to see an authentic public representation of themselves while also offering the world a fuller view of the African American experience,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Our museum is proud that this significant and iconic collection of African American images will be housed in our museum and preserved for generations to study, observe and enjoy.”

“The Johnson Publishing Company Archive captures both the iconic and everyday experience of Black life in 20th century America,” shared Dr. Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, in a statement. “The conservation and digitization of these materials will benefit countless scholars, professionals, and everyday Americans who will be able to access and explore this extraordinary archive.”

Per an official statement, “The photographic archives of JPC, which include more than 3 million photo negatives and slides, 983,000 photographs, 166,000 contact sheets, and 9,000 audio and visual recordings, represent the most comprehensive collection documenting Black life in the 20th century.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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