Guide to the National Cotton Council of America Photographs and Film

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1177
Creators:
National Cotton Council
Dates:
circa 1945-1999, undated
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
28 cubic feet
48 boxes
224 motion picture films
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
The collection consists of photographic materials created by the National Cotton Council (NCC) to document cotton production and use.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of photographs, slides, and motion picture films created by the National Cotton Council to document cotton production and use. It is arranged into three series.
Series 1 are black and white photographic prints dating primarily from the 1950s-1970s. These photographs document every aspect of cotton farming, from before the seed is even planted to the production of finished cloth. The photographs fall into four categories. The majority depict agricultural practices in all their variations, including land preparation, planting, bedding, plowing, harrowing, drainage, cultivation, stripping, and harvesting. Another large group depicts pests and infestations – boll weevils, fleas, mites, pink bollworm, hoppers--and the methods of countering them with insecticide and herbicide applications. A third group of photos documents more general topics, including the history of cotton, research programs, trading, foreign cotton farming, printing, spinning, and weaving. There are also a number of photographs of agricultural equipment manufactured by International Harvester. Finally, a small group of photographs consists of still shots from many of the movies produced by the National Cotton Council. The photographs were maintained in the order that was created by the National Cotton Council.
Series 2 contains slides and color photographs which date from the 1980s-early 2000s. Their value lie in the fact that most seem to cover the same agricultural and general topics as the photographic prints, just in a different format. Many of the groups of slides were obviously assembled for use in presentations. In addition, there are a large number of slides of individuals and activities from National Cotton Council Board meetings and conferences. Since most of these are not captioned and are of little intrinsic value anyway, they will need to be weeded out. In addition, there are a small number of color snapshots, housed in plastic sleeves, mixed in with the slide sheets. While these provide more modern photographic documentation, many of them also show meetings and are probably of little intrinsic value. I was not able to organize the slide sheets into any kind of order before packing them, due to their disorder and lack of time. A lot of processing work will need to be done on this collection, re-housing the slides, weeding out unwanted materials, and separating out the small number of snapshots.
Series 3 consists of office files.
Series 4 consists of two hundred and fourteen films that were created by the National Cotton Council (NCC) and date from the 1960s-1980s. A few of the films document cotton farming, they primarily document cotton's versatility and use in consumer goods. A consistent theme is that "ordinary cotton" could be quite fashionable. Sample titles include "5000 Years of Cotton Fashion," "Back to School Fashion," "Feed Bag Fashions," "Designer Showcase," "Cotton American Style," "Career Girl Fashion," "High Fashion in Venice," "Cotton: Nature's Food and Fiber Plant," "Pollution Fighters," "The Mattress that Wouldn't Burn," "Why Cotton in Home Furnishings," and "Wash and Wear Cottons."

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1, Black and White Photographic Prints, circa 1945-1970s, undated
Subseries 1.1, Cultivation and Production of Cotton, circa 1950s-1970s, undated
Subseries 1.2, Film Stills, 1956-1971, undated
Subseries 1.3, Subjects and Events, 1945-1965, undated
Series 2, Slides, circa 1979-1999, undated
Series 3, Office Files, 1954-1981
Series 4, Films, 1953-1980

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The National Cotton Council of America (NCC) is the official trade association of the cotton industry. The NCC was founded in 1939 to promote the interests of cotton farmers, ginners, brokers, and manufacturers from the Southern, cotton-growing states. Its mission evolved over the years as new uses for cotton and its byproducts were found; as synthetic fibers were developed; as fashion tastes changed; as government regulation increased; and as foreign competition in farming and manufacturing grew. The National Cotton Council's website states that its current mission is "to ensure the ability of all United States cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and United States-manufactured product markets at home and abroad." Throughout its existence, the NCC has been the contact point for industry issues affecting its members, legislators in Congress, allied agribusinesses, and consumers.
The National Cotton Council of America (NCC) initially gave this collection to the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange early in 2008, during the move of the Memphis-based NCC's corporate offices into a much smaller facility. Calvin Turley, president of the Board of the Cotton Museum, accepted the materials with the understanding that he could do with them as he wished. Ultimately, he decided that the collection was outside the scope of the Cotton Museum's mission. Turley offered the collection to the National Museum of American History in the belief that this was "the best possible place in the whole world for it."

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Anne M.Jones, volunteer and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist, 2017. The finding aid was encoded by Eva Buchanan-Cates, intern, 2017
Author
Vanessa Broussard Simmons and Craig A. Orr
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Archives Center in 2009 by the Cotton Museum.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
National Cotton Council of America Photographs and Film, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Maid of Cotton Records (AC1176)

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs -- 1950-2000 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton textile industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures (visual works) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton growing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton picking Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton manufacture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trade associations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Textile industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cotton farming Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
URL: