The R.H. Hardin Negatives consist primarily of glass plate negatives thought to be the work of Roswell Holtsinger Hardin of Johnson City, Tennessee. Most of the photographs are of people and were taken outside, either in front of simple fabric backdrops or in the woods, although there are a few formal studio portraits and an even smaller number of photographs taken indoors in non-studio settings. There are numerous multiple exposure negatives in which only a portion of the plate was exposed, creating two or more distinct images on a single plate.
The people and places depicted represent a range of lifestyles and economic backgrounds. The subjects of the photographs have not been identified.
In addition to the negatives, there is a small amount of supplementary material pertaining to R.H. Hardin and to the practice of photography between 1887 and 1921.
The collection is divided into three series: Series 1, Prints; Series 2, Glass Plate Negatives; Series 3, Papers.
Physical Access Requirements
For reasons of preservation, the glass negatives may only be handled by archives staff.
Louis and Judy Wilkin purchased the negatives from Carl Phillips, owner of Mousey's Trading Post in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1983.
Method of Acquisition
The negatives were donated to the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University by Louis and Judy Wilkin in December 1997. The museum later transferred the negatives to the Archives of Appalachia, accession number 2014-051.
Other Descriptive Information
With a very few exceptions, dates are given as circa 1900. Clothing and other cues may be used to date the images more accurately. The Archives made a conscious decision not to spend time researching fashion, but input is welcome as are contributions to the positive identification of people and places pictured in this collection.
Preliminary preservation work was completed in October 2014 by student assistant David Caraveo.