Americas and Oceania Collections blog

10 March 2010


It struck me this morning that I didn't manage to fit in a second visit to our Points of View exhibition, which closed last Sunday. I really enjoyed my only visit but now will have to make do with visiting its website or pouring over the exhibition catalogue.

However, should you be in a photographic frame of mind at the moment, I would suggest you go along to the Portal of Texas History. One of the more recent additions to this impressive online archive of Texan history is a collection of over 400 photographs of places, events and evidence relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on 22nd November 1963, which are to be found in the Dallas Police Department archive. Included are a number of crime scene photos showing various views from and inside the Texas School Book Depository – such as the view from the window which overlooked Kennedy’s motorcade route, and a lonely bottle of Dr Pepper.

The Dallas PD JFK archive also includes a selection of Lee Harvey Oswald’s personal possessions which were collected as evidence from his home, e.g. letters, pages from his photograph albums, the famous photos of Oswald posing with a rifle, and his copy of George Orwell’s 1984 (the 1962 New American Library Signet Classics edition). You will also find mug shots and the distinctive finger print card of Jack Ruby (he lacked the top half of his left index finger), who, of course, shot Oswald.

This photographic archive allows us to explore and travel through the investigation in the weeks following the Kennedy assassination, examining all the evidence compiled by the DPD. The Portal of Texas history is a good example of how State material can be made available to the wider research community – great for historians and conspiracy theorists alike.



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