- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Dominique Luster, the new archivist for the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive at the Carnegie Museum of Art, first saw the photographer’s images of African-Americans in Pittsburgh while studying at the University of Kentucky.

Her impressions changed when she moved to Pittsburgh a year-and-a-half ago.

“He kind of changed from ‘Teenie Harris, influential African-American photographer of the 20th century’ to Teenie, who photographed my grandmother’s wedding, to Teenie, who took photographs of my great- granddaughter’s baptism, to Teenie, who used to live across the street from Miss Sally,” Luster said.

On Monday, she starts work as the Teenie Harris Archivist, an endowed position seeded with $300,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities plus $900,000 given by local foundations and individual donors.

The archivist, who celebrated her 24th birthday last Saturday, was working as a liaison librarian with the University of Pittsburgh Library system. On Monday, she starts looking at more than 70,000 negatives preserved from Harris’ work for the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper from the 1930s to the 1970s. He captured everyone from famous ballplayers, civil rights leaders and politicians to ordinary people in the Hill District, Homewood and other Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Luster will manage and oversee the research, digitization, publication and exhibition of Harris’ work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre design and technology from the University of Kentucky in 2014 and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015.

“I want to really dig into this collection … and make sure all of the information is there so it can be searchable by local people who want to find their grandmother who lived on Wylie Avenue,” she said. “At the same time, we want to make sure that information can be used by scholars at Pitt or in Germany.”

She also wants to improve the archive’s website, https://teenie.cmoa.org.

“That is a priority for us. We want firsthand accounts of the people, places and events that are happening in those images,” Luster said.


Online: https://bit.ly/23NvG9L


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, https://www.post-gazette.com



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