Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Ralph M. Hattersley
Scope and Content
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley
Inclusive Date(s)
Materials related to Ralph M. Hattersley and his time at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Hattersley was a professor of photography at RIT from 1949-1962. The collection includes an interview transcript, clippings, and a memorial book written for Hattersley.
1.0 Folder(s)
C.S. South, Shelf 814, Box 20
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Biographical Information for Ralph M. Hattersley (Collapse)

Ralph M. Hattersley, Jr. (1921-2000) was born on March 31, 1921 in Montana. He grew up in Conrad, a city in the northwest part of Montana. After graduating from high school, Hattersley spent a year studying art at the University of Washington. He left the school to attend Montana State College in 1941. Two years later, Hattersley joined the U.S. Navy. While in the navy, he attended photography school in Pensacola, FL and served on the Atlantic Fleet Camera Party, spending most of his time in Trinidad. He was discharged from the navy in 1946.

Upon returning to the U.S., Hattersley enrolled in the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute's (renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1944) photography program. He graduated from the school in 1948 and began teaching in the Department of Photographic Technology. In 1949, he was offered a full-time faculty position, which he accepted. Having both an art and photography background, Hattersley taught photoillustration and art-based photography classes at the Institute for the next thirteen years.

After teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Hattersley moved to New York City. While there, he taught at various institutions including Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts. He served as a contributing editor to Popular Photograph starting in 1957. Hattersley died on February 5, 2000.

Selected Works

  • Discover Your Self Through Photography
  • Photographic Printing
  • Photographic Lightning
  • Beginner's Guide to Photography
  • Beginner's Guide to Darkroom Techniques
  • Beginner's Guide to Photographing People
  • Beginner's Guide to Color Photography
  • Beginner's Guide to Color Printing
  • Beginning Photography

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley consists of several documents related to Hattersley and his career. The collection includes clippings, an interview transcript, and a memorial book. The selection of clippings date from 1955-1975 with some being about Hattersley and others being written by Hattersley.

Of interest is a transcript of an interview conducted with Hattersley sometime after he left the school. In the interview Hattersley explains his relationship to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), discusses his teaching methods, recounts his experiences at RIT, and provides his opinion on the state of the school's photography program. The interview was conducted as part of an investigation into the history of RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

The collection also includes a memorial book created for Hattersley after he died. The book contains biographical information on the former RIT professor, as well as recollections from several of his former students. There are also some examples of Hattersley's work.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection is arranged chronologically.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Hattersley, Ralph

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. Department of Photographic Technology.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. Department of Photographic Technology.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.


  • Photographers -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Photography -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Biographies
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Interviews

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Collection on Ralph M. Hattersley, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in April 2011.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

RIT Archives

Ralph M. Hattersley contact sheets, negatives, and other material

RIT Art Collection

There are several prints and glass transparencies done by Hattersley that are stored off-site in Frank E. Gannett Hall. Please contact the RIT Archive Collections for more information.

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