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Guide to the David Goldblatt Photographs and Films, 1960-1976

Abstract

Documentary photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Collection of 251 black and white photographic prints taken by David Goldblatt of black and white South African miners, and white South African Afrikaners during the 1960s. Collection also includes copies of three 16 mm films, Soweto, On the Mines, and Some Afrikaners, created by Goldblatt in 1976 from his still images. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts, Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.00460
Title
David Goldblatt photographs and films
Date
1960-1976
Creator
Goldblatt, David
Extent
3.6 Linear Feet, 257 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

Collection of 251 silver bromide black and white photographic prints taken by David Goldblatt in South Africa during the late 1960s, as well as copies of three 16 mm films, Soweto, On the Mines, and Some Afrikaners, created in 1976 from his still images. Goldblatt captured the photographic images in different regions of South Africa, traveling from his hometown west of Johannesburg to the Western Cape province and the Karoo. DVD viewing copies are available for these films. The photographs in this collection were published in Goldblatt's first two books: On The Mines (1973, with Nadine Gordimer) and Some Afrikaners Photographed (1975). The On the Mines series, from the late 1960s, features images of both white and black South African gold miners, in groups and individually, both inside and outside the mines. The images in the Some Afrikaners series, shot from 1961 to 1968, depict the everyday life of white South Africans, known as Afrikaners, and the environment in which they live. Subjects include school, recreation, mealtimes, buildings, decorum and dress; there are group pictures as well as individual portraits. Print sizes vary, with 8x10 inch prints, uncropped work prints of custom sizes and shapes on paper no larger than approximately 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches, and prints mounted on 12 1/2 x 13 inch tan matte boards. Most have notes with printing instructions, with occasional captions on backs of prints or beneath prints on matte boards. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts, Duke University.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1. On The Mines Series, 1960s

3 boxes

Consists of 115 black and white silver bromide prints (31 8x10s and 84 of custom sizes) of images taken in and around the gold mines near Johannesburg, in the late 1960s. Approximately sixty of the prints are portraits of miners.

31 8x10 prints
Box 1
50 custom size work prints
Box 2
34 custom size work prints
Box 3

2. Some Afrikaners Series, 1961-1968

3 boxes

Consists of 136 black and white silver bromide prints (23 8x10s and 113 in other sizes). Subjects are Afrikaner families and individuals in various social settings.

23 8x10 prints
Box 1
67 custom size work prints
Box 4
46 custom work prints
Box 5

3. Films Series, 1976

Contains three 16mm films SOWETO, ON THE MINES, and SOME AFRIKANERS, which Goldblatt created by filming the still images contained in the photographs collection.

Conditions Governing Access note

[CLOSED: Original recordings are closed to use. DVD viewing copy of the films is available in negative file cabinet; please consult with a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.]

Historical Note

David Goldblatt was born November 29, 1930 in the South African city Randfontein of the province Gauteng. His photographic career began at age eighteen when he began taking pictures. With parents and grandparents who fled Lithuania around 1890 to escape from religious persecution against Jews, Goldblatt found himself simultaneously a part of white society that saw itself as superior, and an object of racial and religious oppression; this may explain in part the subjects of his images, which explore and document the complexities of a particular historical moment in South Africa. Goldblatt was drawn to the gold mines near his hometown, which he photographed primarily in black and white; later, in the 1990s, he began to explore color photography. Besides contributing to many photographic exhibitions, Goldblatt has published many books, and has also produced films created from his still images.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • South African Photographs Collection, 1970s-2008 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
  • Paul Weinberg Photographs [rural indigenous communities and urban culture in several African countries] (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], David Goldblatt Photographs and Films, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The David Goldblatt Photographs and Films were placed on deposit in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1989 and converted to a gift in 2006. Subsequent additions were received in 2008-2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Katy Terrell, November 2009

Encoded by Katy Terrell and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, November 2009

Accessions 89-005 and 2006-0007, 2008-0013, 2008-0031, 2009-0004, and 2009-0171 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.