Series 7: Photographs, 1924-1972 (3.2 cu. ft.; 8 DB) includes black and white and color photographs, contact sheets, slides, and negatives documenting Duke Ellington's career as a musician and the evolution of the Duke Ellington Orchestra between 1924 and 1972. The photos depict the Orchestra and its various band members and singers in domestic concerts and international tours, Ellington with presidents and heads of state, Ellington's family, the Sacred Concerts, and publicity shots of Ellington. Images of particular interest include Duke Ellington with Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and prominent musicians including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, and Billy Strayhorn. The images also document places where Ellington performed, such as Birdland, Westminister Cathedral, and the ancient theatre in Baghdad. Of particular interest are pictures of the original Cotton Club Orchestra and the Washingtonians, Duke Ellington's first band. The original photographs are organized into twenty-two categories by the content of the image. (For example, "Awards" is the category for all photographs that depict Ellington receiving awards from domestic and foreign dignitaries). All of the photographs have been supplied with captions that identify their primary subject content and whenever possible additional identification information is included. Within each grouping, photographs are arranged sequentially by a number assigned to each image prior to the creation of a preservation negative by the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Print & Photographic Services (OPPS).
Most of the photographs in Series 7 have been copied by the Office of Print & Photographic Services and are available for viewing in the Archives Center reading room. Images were selected for photographic duplication based on content, research value, and image quality. Duplicate photographs and images lacking informational value were not copied. These are identified as "un-copied" in the box and folder listing. All photographs that have been copied have been assigned an OPPS negative number. This number, identifying the appropriate negative(s), must be used by researchers when requesting copies of these images from OPPS. Photographs that have not been copied by OPPS and do not have an OPPS negative number assigned to them have been placed at the end of each subject grouping. Slides and unidentified negatives have been placed at the end of the series. There are twenty-two subject categories: Awards: 1966-1972; Band Members: 1933-1971; Candid Shots: 1937-1973; Duke Ellington at the Piano: undated; Duke Ellington Composing: undated; Duke Ellington Signing Autographs undated; Duke Ellington with Friends and Associates : 1939-1971; Duke Ellington with the Military: 1944-1945; Duke Ellington with Presidents and Heads of State: 1958-1969; Ellington Family: 1947; Friends and Associates: undated; In Concert: 1964-1972; International Tours: 1933-1971; Interviews: 1945-1950; Miscellaneous: undated; Orchestra: 1927-1972; Publicity: 1924-1970; Publicity Caricatures: undated; Publicity/Fundraising: 1946; Sacred Concerts: 1968; TV Appearances: 1967-1968; Various Artists: undated.
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