ALONG THOSE LINES
Words by Carrie Stetler | Images by Nick Kline
Their role in the history of Newark’s self-image is small and mostly uncredited. In generically-labelled files, like “Janitor” and “Nursing Aid,” are the decades-old images of city workers and residents, photographed for long-forgotten municipal PR campaigns. They are among thousands of photos housed in the City of Newark’s Archives & Records Management Center, which dates back to the 1930s. Since 2005, there’s been an official effort by the city to digitize and catalogue them.
When Nick Kline, a photo-based artist and Rutgers-Newark photography professor, began looking through the images last year, he was struck by what he found. Along with photos of politicians like Kenneth Gibson, Newark’s first Black mayor, and state Assemblywoman Sheila Y. Oliver, were pictures of anonymous residents and city employees from the 1960s through the 1980s. They were originally intended as marketing images for city government programs and policies, appearing in mid-70s publications like “People Power: The Official Monthly Organ of Newark, New Jersey’s Employment and Training System.’’ READ MORE