Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection
Scope and Content
The Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection contains more than 3,000 slides created and collected by Ahlborn over his extensive career as a photographer, curator, and scholar of Mexican American art. Slides include images of artworks, architecture, buildings (especially churches), towns, crafts/furniture, graphic art pieces, tools, textiles, and religious objects. The majority of the slides relate to Mexican, United States, Central American, South American, and Spanish objects and locations, though there are smaller sets of images from China, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. Individual slides in the collection are labeled by location, at the very least, but usually with additional details.
- Ahlborn, Richard E., 1933-2015 (Person)
The collection is open for research.
Permission to publish material from Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Richard E. Ahlborn was born in 1933. Throughout his career, he was a specialist in Mexican American art. Prior to the 1950s, he served as a curator at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a photographer for the Department of Cultural History in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of History and Technology, later the National Museum of American History. In 1964, he took a position as a curator in for the museum, a job he held until his retirement in 2002. In 2005, Ahlborn donated his extensive slide collection, created over some 50 years of scholarship, to the Art + Architecture Library at Virginia Tech. His later research focused on the San Xavier del Bac mission church in Tuscon, Arizona, and its restoration. Ahlborn died in Maryland in 2015 at the age of 82.
0.8 Cubic Feet (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection contains more than 3,000 slides created and collected by Ahlborn over his extensive career as a photographer, curator, and scholar of Mexican American art. Slides include images of artworks, architecture, buildings (especially churches), towns, crafts/furniture, graphic art pieces, tools, textiles, and religious objects.
The slides were orginally housed in boxes or sheets in labeled groupings. Slides were rehoused in boxes by geographic region (reflecting the creator's original organization, usually be type of subject--artwork, towns, architecture, crafts, etc.). Materials have been placed in alphabetical order by geographical name.
Following the donation of additional materials in spring of 2021, a second series was added wherein slides appear in the order in which they were received. One folder contains Ahlborn's inventory and his description of his organizational system.
This collection was donated to the Art & Architecture Libray in 2005. It was part of several slide collections transferred to Special Collections in 2018.
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection was completed in May 2019.
- Richard E. Ahlborn Slide Collection, n.d.
- Kira Dietz, Archivist
- 2019 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- 2021-07-13: New materials added. jss
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US