Scope and Contents
Negatives and other material from the Gravely and Moore Studio of Charleston, West Virginia. The majority of items within the collection are cellulose acetate negatives; the collection also includes glass plate negatives, prints, two photograph albums, and other material, as well as a card catalog documenting business transactions with customers. The collection is organized into customer project files as established by the studio; the contents of these files are stored in envelopes usually containing one or two negatives, but can contain up to a dozen or more. There are approximately 3,500 customer project files containing an estimated 11,000 items, most of which are negatives.
The majority of these files are identified with an index number and description, while the remainder have only a description or are unidentified. A personal name in the description of a file usually identifies the customer who commissioned a project and purchased the resulting photographs; the customer is also often the subject of those photographs, but this is not always the case. Some files are identified by subject rather than customer. In the case of files with an index number, more information regarding the customer and project may be found in box 33, "Gravely Photo Index", a card catalog of original records kept by the Gravely and Moore Studio that is organized alphabetically by the last name of a customer.
The majority of photographs within the collection are portraits of individual adults. Other prominent subjects of individual and group portraits include:
- Children, including infants, toddlers, and young children
- Members of West Virginia State Police
- Members of the United States Armed Forces, primarily dating from World War II
- Civil servants
- Missionaries belonging to the Church of Latter-day Saints and other religious organizations
- Students, sports teams, and other school related activities of West Virginia public schools, including Thomas Jefferson High School and Widen High School
- High school students selected as their school's "Student of the Week"
- Students and faculty members at colleges and universities
- Portraits and other photographs taken for a newspaper, most likely the Charleston Gazette and other publications
- photographs for registration procedures, including naturalization, citizenship, and licenses
- Injured or sick persons
Subjects related to businesses include:
- Standard Oil
- Other West Virginia and national businesses
- advertising, including storefronts, decorated window fronts, and signs
- Equipment and machinery
- Special events, including meetings, banquets, and boat races
- Photographs of accidents for insurance companies
Subjects related to organizations include:
- The West Virginia State Board of Control
- The Salvation Army
- Beni Kedem, the Shriners Temple in Charleston, West Virginia
- The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Other subjects include:
- Aerial photographs of cities, businesses, and other locations
- Commercial, residential, and governmental buildings
The collection also contains two photograph album containing cartes-de-visite and tintypes, ca. 1860-1880. The subjects of the photographs are not identified.
To find the location of glass plate negatives, search for the character string "[glass]" in the contents list. Other information in square brackets was sourced from descriptions recorded to the archival negative envelopes (which are transcriptions of text from the original envelopes), and from new insights gained from inspection of the collection.
The Gravely and Moore Studio was located at 124 1/2 Capitol Street, Charleston, West Virginia.
Please see the control folder at the West Virginia & Regional History Center for a paper contents list to this collection. An electronic version is also available in this finding aid--most of the collection is described at the level of the customer project files. Box 30, folder 4 through box 33 are described more generally.
14.6 Linear Feet (Summary: 14 ft. 7 in. (32 document cases, 5 in. each; 1 index card box, 15 in.))