James Blair Murdoch Photographs, 1920-1965

Administrative/Restriction Information

Access Restrictions

Nitrate negatives are located in cold storage and must be acclimated before delivery to the reading room. Handling of the glass negatives requires the assistance of an archivist. There are no other access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public in accordance with state law.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of this collection (Wisconsin Statutes 19.21-19.39).

Custodial History

The Murdoch photographs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee comprise only a portion of the Murdoch Photographing Co. archives, the rest of which remain in the possession of David Thielke, owner of the business from 1960 to 1992. At an unknown date, Thielke made a gift of several thousand photographs to Stephen D. Coppinger as research material. During his lifetime, Coppinger distributed some of the photographs to others. Following his death, his wife gave the remaining photographs to Hugh Swofford to donate to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Hugh Swofford donated the collection to the Archives in February 1998 (accession 1997-059) in memory of Stephen D. Coppinger. A second donation (accession 1999-020) was apparently made between July 1999 and June 2000.

Processing Information

Mark A. Vargas processed the 1997-059 accession at the Archives in July 1998. Christel Maass processed accession 1999-020 and created a database for the collection from January to April 2001. Prints for selected images were made and added to the collection through February 2003.

In March 2011, Michael Doylen removed 146 nitrate negatives from the collection and placed them with other nitrate negatives.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As of December 22, 2022, all electronic files were accessible on an Intel Core i7-10700 CPU (2.90 GHz, 16.00 GB RAM) running Windows 10 Education Version 21H2. Software used to access the files includes Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.

The collection includes records in the following file formats:

  • Tagged Image File Format [.tif]