John Archer Collection
Explore hundreds of John Archer images in the Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature Open Collection in the Digital Content Library.
Ever since the mid-1960s, when I was an undergraduate, I have had a passion for buildings, cities, landscapes, places, and spaces. My research and teaching (including 38 years on the faculty at the University of Minnesota) always centered around these things. And because I didn’t want to teach or write about structures and places that I had never encountered, I quickly developed a love for travel. I became an avid photographer of what I encountered, wherever I went. I have so far traveled and photographed on five continents, in dozens of countries, and in 49 states. I’ve taken pictures of many well-known locales, and many that are remote and remain barely known. In some cases, what I photographed no longer exists, or it can’t be seen any longer, or it has changed beyond recognition.
Much of what I photographed was done before the introduction of digital photography, in light of which I am grateful to the Digital Content Library for taking on the project, now in progress, of digitizing some 40,000 slides (and doing such a caring and careful job of it). Almost every time I took a photograph, I did so with the hope that it would be useful in a class or a publication somewhere, some day. For a minority of the images, that came true. For those and the rest, I’m glad that they can also repose here, waiting for others to discover something that they have been searching for, or that sparks amusement or curiosity, or that serves as a record of what came before.
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature