Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

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Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Daily)
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)



Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

e-mail
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Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (M-F)
(Closed Federal Holidays)




White House Photographic Office Photographs, 1974-77

Collection Finding Aid and Links to Digital Files


SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

     The photos in this collection may be viewed in binders of "contact sheets," or small images on photographic paper of each roll of film, arranged by the date the film was developed.

QUANTITY
Approximately 323,600 images on 14,000 contact sheets and 293,600 negatives.

DONOR
Gerald R. Ford

ACCESS
Open.  Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

COPYRIGHT
Gerald R. Ford has donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished materials in National Archives collections.  Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain

Prepared by William H. McNitt, July 2010


INTRODUCTION

The office provided still-photographic coverage of Gerald Ford's day-to-day activities as Vice President and President. David Kennerly, a photojournalist whom Ford met while Vice President, and four other photographers, shot approximately 290,000 photos of Mr. Ford and his staff and family. They took the photos in White House meeting rooms, offices, and the family residence; at Camp David and aboard Air Force One; during trips overseas, vacations in Colorado , and campaign swings. Kennerly enjoyed exceptional access to the President. White House photographers also documented Vice President Nelson Rockefeller's activities, but the Ford Library has no negatives and only some photos from this work.

The photos in this collection may be viewed in binders or folders of "contact sheets," or small images on photographic paper of each roll of film, arranged by the date the film was developed. See the Series Descriptions for links to contact sheets available in digital form.

The prints and the corresponding negatives (also among the holdings of the Library) are in the public domain, and copies may be purchased and used without copyright restriction.

Related Materials (July 2010):    
The Library also holds a 1.6 linear feet of textual records of this office. Related photographic collections include those donated to the Library by David Kennerly and Susan Ford.


List of Series


Series Descriptions

Series A & B: Ford White House Photographs, 1974‑77.  (ca. 290,000 images on 12,885 contact sheets)
The series contains photographs of Gerald R. Ford's day-to-day activities as President and Betty Ford's as First Lady, along with many pictures of their children and other family members, White House staff members, presidential advisors, Federal government officials, and other attendees at White House meetings and social events. David Hume Kennerly was the lead photographer, but Ricardo Thomas, Bill Fitz-Patrick, Karl Schumacher, and Jack Kightlinger also took many photographs. Photograph locations include White House meeting rooms, offices, and the family residence; at Camp David, in the limousine, aboard Air Force One, and the sites of various domestic and overseas trips (including 1976 presidential campaign trips) and vacations in Vail, Colorado. Topics include presidential speeches (including campaign speeches), Cabinet Meetings, White House briefings, meetings with foreign heads of state and ambassadors, meetings with congressional leaders and other members of Congress, media interviews and press conferences, Republican Party meetings and fundraisers, and White House luncheons and dinners.

The contact sheets are arranged numerically by numbers assigned to each roll of film by the staff as they were processed in the lab. Thus the photographs are roughly in chronological order by the date on which the photographs were developed (not the date on which they were taken).

The Library holds the negatives for all of the photographs in this series. They are in the public domain, and copies may be purchased and used without copyright restriction.

Library staff have created a database indexing the White House photographs.  Please contact the audiovisual staff for more information.  They can offer a variety of strategies to help locate items. The staff is making steady progress on the digitization of the contact sheets. You can view them through these links:

Series D: Secretary of State Photographs, 1974-77. (ca. 600 photographs on 30 contact sheets)
A very incomplete set of contact sheets focusing on Secretary of State Henry Kissinge's travels. Most concern his trip to the Middle East in August and September 1975. The Ford Library does not have the negatives for the images in this series.

Note: Photographs of Secretary Kissinger's trip to Africa in April-May 1976 (including negatives) appear in Series A&B: Ford White House Photographs instead of Series D.

Series F: White House Curator's Photographs, 1974-77. (ca. 75 photographs on 27 contact sheets)
A very incomplete set of contact sheets focusing on White House rooms, furnishings,works of art, etc. The Ford Library does not have the negatives for the images in this series.

Series G: Gerald R. Ford Vice Presidential Photographs, 1973-74.  (ca. 3,500 photographs on 176 contact sheets)
The series contains photographs of Gerald R. Ford's day-to-day activities as Vice President. Also included are photographs of the public activities of his wife Betty Ford. The White House photographic office did not assign one single photographer to the Vice President, so significant numbers of photographs were taken by Ollie Atkins, Karl Schumacher, Robert Knudsen, Jack Kightlinger, Robert Moore, Ricardo Thomas, and Bill Fitz-Patrick.

The contact sheets are arranged numerically by numbers assigned to each roll of film by the staff as they were processed in the lab. Thus the photographs are roughly in chronological order by the date on which the photographs were developed (not the date on which they were taken).

The Library holds the negatives for all photographs in this series.

Series G: Nelson Rockefeller Vice Presidential Photographs, 1974-77. (ca. 30,000 photographs on ca. 1,000 contact sheets)
The series contains photographs of Nelson Rockefeller's day-to-day activities as Vice President. Ricardo Thomas and Jack Kightlinger took most of the photographs. This set of contact sheets is not complete and the Ford Library does not have the negatives for the images in this series. A full set of contact sheets and negatives is held by the Rockefeller Archive Center.

The contact sheets are arranged numerically by numbers assigned to each roll of film by the staff as they were processed in the lab. Thus the photographs are roughly in chronological order by the date on which the photographs were developed (not the date on which they were taken).

Series H: Historical Photographs of Gerald and Betty Ford, 1884-1974. (243 photographs on 75 contact sheets)
The series contains photographs of Gerald R. Ford and his wife Elizabeth "Betty" Bloomer Ford from their childhood years, through their marriage, and through his service in the House of Representatives and as Vice President of the United States. Also included are some earlier photographs of their parent and other family members, and many that show their own children as they grew up.

Early in the Ford administration, photographers from the White House Photographic Office copied these historical photographs belonging to President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford to use in responding to requests from the news media. The contact sheets are arranged numerically by numbers assigned by the White House Photographic Office staff as they copied each photograph. The Library holds the negatives for all photographs in this series. All images can be viewed at:

Series T: Transparencies. (unprocessed)

White House Photographic Office Log Books - for Series A, B, G (Ford), and T
These log books were created by the staff of the White House Photographic Office to document photographs taken by the White House photographers. There are logs for Ford's presidential photographs (Series A and B), Ford's vice presidential photographs (Series G), and a set of Transparencies (Series T). The logs include the number assigned to each roll of film, the date the images were taken, the date the roll was processed, the name of the photographer, the name of the film processor, and a very brief description of the events documented on the roll. The staff of the Ford Library used these logs as resource for a database describing the Ford presidential photographs (Series A and B). It should be noted, as was discovered during the creation of the photo database, that the dates and/or information in these logs is not always accurate.

White House Released Photographs (unprocessed)
This series contains information about photographs that were released to the media by the White House during the Ford administration. This series is unprocessed and assumed to be incomplete.

White House Print Collections (unprocessed)
This series contains selected 8x10 and 11x14 photographs that were printed by the White House during the Ford administration. Each has a White House stamp on the reverse, indicating the roll and frame number, date, and photographer. This series is unprocessed.


View container list for Ford White House photographs