Now that I’ve finally noticed that many contact sheets have what are essentially “end of the roll of film” bonuses, I’ve officially gone on a contact sheet jag. There are hundreds of these in the Woodson and I’ve never looked at them in this way before. It’s proving to be extremely fruitful. If you don’t know what I mean by “contact sheet,” here’s an example. This is a sheet of pictures taken during the Masterson crisis in February, 1969. The proof sheet is made so that the pictures aren’t enlarged–they are exactly the same size as the film itself:
In real life, these are so small that it takes real effort to see what’s on them–so I mostly haven’t done it. I know now how very, very wrong that was. Many of these sheets have three or four of the sort of random images that I love the most. And some of these “finish the roll” pictures are turning out to be real treasures.
Here are some I found today. The prints are pretty degraded, but they’re interesting. I found them in a photo file called “Phi Beta Kappa,” and the proof sheet was labeled as “Phi Beta Kappa Initiates, spring 1963.” The vast majority of the pictures were of exactly that:
But the last three photos were something altogether different. The first one was a badly overexposed shot of Lovett Hall. The last two, though, were something really rare–pictures of the Rice Board of Trustees in session.
I didn’t have either the time or the energy to run this down today, but tomorrow I bet I can figure out exactly when this was taken and even what was going on generally. They look pretty relaxed, don’t they? It was definitely a good moment at Rice.
Bonus: I caught this guy when I was up on top of the football stadium. The campus is overrun with these wild kids on their crazy skateboards this year.