The Archiving of Lora Webb Nichols

This episode is basically all Lora Webb Nichols. We’ll tell you a bit about her life, a little about her photos, and we’ll talk to Nancy Anderson, the woman responsible for saving her collection. And speaking of saving collections, we’re covering how places like the Smithsonian preserve their photography archives, and how we can all do a little better in our own archiving. Not only that, but Tiffen Sinclair will be dropping by once again! Oh, and we’ve got zine reviews.

Lora Webb Nichols

Lora Webb Nichols received her first camera – a Kodak box – from Bert, her future husband, a month after her 16th birthday.The next day, she took a photo of her mother in the doorway. In turn, her mother took one of Lora, and then one of Lora and Yankee, the cat. “My camera is the best fun” Lora concluded at the end of the roll.

 From this moment, until her death in 1962, Lora photographed everything, amassing nearly 18,000 photos. 

We will be sharing more of her photos on social media, but here is a nice collection:

You can read more about her, and see more of her photos here:

Basically every single photo she took and collected are available to view at the American Heritage Center archive here.

Grand Encampment Museum:

Nancy Anderson

Nancy Anderson lived with Lora Webb Nichols in the early 60s, and now lives in the Lora’s old house. It is her we have to thank for preserving the unbelievably huge archive of Lora’s 24,000 negatives, including over 18,000 of her own. 

Nancy specifically mentioned a few photos during the interview. Here are the ones that we could track down:

Archive Everything!

The Lora Webb Nichols Archive was nearly lost due to a number of factors, but mostly improper preservation methods. So much more has been learned about the proper care and handling of photographic prints, negatives and plates since Lora began shooting in 1899. Even since her death in 1962, we have come up with what seems to be the gold standard of preservation.

So let’s take a look at how places like the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress and the National Archives are doing this. Obviously we can’t maintain their exacting standards, but it’s good to at least know what’s being done to preserve our photographic history.

Here are some links:

Zine Reviews!

On this episode, Eric reviewed Half-Frame Journal by Shawn Granton

You can follow Shawn @urbanadventureleaguepdx on Instagram. 

Pick up his zine here:

Created with GIMP

You can also pick up Eric’s new zine here:


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Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IGFlickrZines
Eric: IGFlickrZinesECN-2 Kits
Tiffen: IG

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