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The UCR/California Museum of Photography (CMP) is an off-campus institution and department of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The CMP is located in the UCR ARTSblock, in Downtown Riverside. The collections of UCR/CMP form the largest, most comprehensive holding of any photographic collection in the Western half of the United States. The growing UCR/CMP collections encompass every aspect of photographic arts, history, and technology. It is located at 3824 Main Street, Riverside, California.
The collections are organized as four interlinked main tiers.
The Bingham Technology Collection has grown from the original gift of 2,000 vintage cameras donated by Dr. Robert Bingham in 1973 to a current count of 10,000 cameras, viewing devices, and photographic apparatus. In 1975, Popular Photography declared that UCR’s Bingham Camera Collection was second only to the George Eastman House Collection in Rochester, New York, and the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
The collection holds four synoptic subsets of camera technology: The Kibbey Zeiss-Ikon Collection; Curtis Polaroid Collection; Wodinsky Ihagee-Exacta Collection and the Teague Kodak Brownie Collection. Other significant artifacts include a Lewis daguerrean camera, a Simon Wing multi-lens wet-plate camera, a fully functioning Caille Brothers Cail-O-Scope, and a Ponti megalethoscope. As the most complete and actively used camera collection in the western states, this resource is highly valued by photography scholars, other museums, film/video producers, book/magazine publishers, regional schools, and photo clubs.
The University Print Collection was founded in 1979 when several community patrons purchased a remarkable collection of photographic master prints from The Friends of Photography. Currently, the collection exceeds 20,000 images that were created by over 1,000 photographers, including 7,000 Ansel Adams negatives. The University Print Collection includes quantities of vintage daguerreotypes, 1840s calotype negatives, Civil War era ambrotypes, and commercial tintypes as well as images from popular culture (1840s to present).
A major subset of the University Print Collection is the Keystone-Mast Collection, which comprises over 250,000 original stereoscopic negatives and 100,000 paper prints. The original glass and film negatives form a vital primary record of worldwide social, cultural, industrial, agricultural historicity between 1860 and 1950. The visual online catalogs of the Keystone-Mast Collection have been available on UCR/CMP website since 2001. A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation and Access Grant primarily funded these online catalogs.
Additional funding, by Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), supports the MOAC project to create catalogs served on the California Digital Library.
UCR/CMP Study Center Library and Roy McJunkin Imaging Center are interlinked research areas containing 10,000 photography monographs, manuscript materials, artists books, technical literature, exhibition catalogs, salon annuals and runs of photography periodicals, a copy stand, plus a full complement of expanding computer technology. International scholars, the education communities, and the museum staff utilize these research areas.
The Digital Virtual Collection is the digitized content of the museum’s collection. Since 1994 when the Museum first went online, UCR/CMP has added over 13,000 pages of content that include over 400 themed micro-sites and 9 major finding aids. Ongoing grants and initiatives have enabled the museum to continue work on the website and allowed for continued digitization of artifacts found in the museums collections.
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