Archives and Special Collections in the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library has processed the Elizabeth Wilcox Photograph Collection. As the unofficial photographer from 1957 until the 1990s at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (now the Columbia University Irving Medical Center of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital), Elizabeth “Libby” Wilcox created images that graced countless publications from Columbia’s health sciences campus, in addition to print media nationwide.
Wilcox donated over 100,000 negatives–along with a smaller amount of prints–to the Library in 1991-1992, after which time select images were showcased in the exhibit, Reflected Moments, held at this very library.
Over the years, additional Wilcox prints were identified and added to the collection of negatives, contact sheets, slides, scrapbooks, and printed material that comprise the collection. While the Archives and Special Collections staff had always referenced these materials and made efforts to digitize the vintage prints, it lacked a publicly accessible guide. In addition, much of the collection needed rehousing in archival quality enclosures for preservation purposes.
After surveying and arranging the various components that make up the Wilcox photograph collection, staff systematically removed brittle glassine sleeves, arranged unprocessed exhibit and print material, and refiled and boxed loose items over the course of six months.
The full-text finding aid is now available via the Archives & Special Collections website, and cataloged in Columbia University’s online catalog CLIO, aiding in the discovery of this valuable visual resource.