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James S. Roberts Photographs

Identifier: 75/31/29

Content Description

The James Roberts photographs span the period of years when Roberts was a student at Northwestern, 1968-1972. However, most individual items within the collection are undated. The collection is arranged by photographic media and thereafter by thematic subject depicted in Roberts’s work. The photographic media include prints, color slide transparencies, and 35 millimeter black-and-white negatives. Major thematic subjects include antiwar movement, Mexico, Northwestern University people and campus activities, Evanston and Chicago scenes, and landscapes.

The series contains one box with approximately 170 prints of black and white photos taken by James Roberts. The prints are made from some of the 35 mm negatives contained in the binder. The photos are arranged in folders according to theme. There is first a folder containing photographs from the 1970 Anti-War protest, then folders containing photos from Mexico, next photos from Northwestern, Evanston, and Chicago. The prints are undated except for the two Mexico folders which are from 1971. The last folder holds an autobiographical sketch written by James Roberts, covering the period from 1968 to 1972 and describing his experiences at Northwestern and how he discovered his passion for photography.

The first type of material in the binder is six sleeves containing almost 120 individual color slide transparencies. The labeled sleeves are arranged in the same order of historical significance. The month and year are printed on each slide and the slides are then arranged within each sleeve in chronological order. Some slides have captions labeled by Roberts.

After the color slides in the binder, there are 170 sleeves holding 35 mm negative strips, totaling to almost 6000 individual photos. The sleeves are labeled and then arranged in the same order of historical significance, starting with the anti-war protests, through Mexico, and onto Northwestern life. Within Northwestern life are first pictures of professors and speakers, then fashion shoot photos for the magazine, and then general student and apartment life. After, there are Chicago scenes and Indiana landscape scenes. Almost none of the photos are dated besides those taken in Mexico, which are specified as 1971.


  • 1968 - 1972


Conditions Governing Use

James S. Roberts retains the non-exclusive right to use, display, exhibit or publish images from the collection and to grant to others similar non-exclusive rights for one-time use. Roberts will inform Northwestern if and when such rights are granted. Northwestern will consult with Roberts before granting permission to display, exhibit or publish images from the collection. Roberts reserves the right, during his lifetime, to withhold such permission to protect his privacy or the privacy of photographic subjects.


2 Boxes (1 AB, 1 DF)

Language of Materials



Northwestern University alumnus James (Jim) S. Roberts studied history and took photographs during a tumultuous time on and off the campus. His photos (prints, color slides, and black-and-white negatives) include depictions of anti-war events such as the November 15, 1969 Moratorium march on Washington, D.C. and the May, 1970 strike at Northwestern University, as well as scenes from Cuernavaca, Mexico, and general student activities at Northwestern.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The photographic prints, slides, and negatives were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by James Roberts in 2012 and 2013 (Accessions 12-161 and 13-5).

Separated Materials


Processing Information

Owen Hemming; August, 2014.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US