A center focused on research

Shortly after Chris Enos came to Boston in 1975, she realized that although there was a great diversity of interests, expertise, and activity in photography in Greater Boston, there was no way for people to plug into it - no place to go to find out about photography and participate in it.

After researching the idea of creating a center to serve the broad New England photography community, she received a contribution of $100 from a friend , enabling her to have a telephone installed in her loft, from which she enlisted all the volunteer help she could. Thus was the Photographic Resource Center launched.

The center - with a continually expanding membership of almost 2,000 individuals, institutions, and businesses at last count - has long since moved from Chris's loft to the campus of Boston University, where it is now directed by Stan Trecker and a small staff of dedicated professionals.

The reputation and membership of the center have spread throughout the country. Roger Bruce, a photography consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts, has called it ''one of the most significant service organizations for the field of photography in the country.''

The list of center programs and services designed to aid and encourage anyone interested in photography includes:

* A newsletter, the first comprehensive guide to photography activity in New England. Ten times a year it provides up-to-date listings of exhibits, lectures, workshops, new publications, grant competitions, and professional services.

* Other publications such as the Photography Guide Schools and Galleries in Massachusetts, which is updated every two years, and Views, a critical review with articles on a wide variety of photography-related subjects.

* An annual lecture and workshop series that has provided oportunities for the public to hear such important photographers as Ansel Adams, Barbara Morgan, Arnold Newman, and Joel Meyerowitz.

* An ''open portfolio night'' once a month, giving photographers the opportunity to discuss their latest work with a group of their peers.

* An extensive library of photography books, magazines, and other reference work available for members' use.

* A telephone-referral service which anyone can call for answers to photography-related questions.

* A job bank that maintains a listing of photography-related jobs in the New England area, as well as a slide library of members' work that is available to curators, scholars, and prospective clients.

* A program that provides monetary support, public exposure, and exhibition opportunities to photographers producing new work.

As the Photographic Resource Center approaches its seventh year, the staff has plans to expand the scope of its activities and to move into a larger, more permanent home.

Since 1976, when the center was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, it has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and a long list of other institutions and corporations.

For more information, write the Photographic Resource Center, 10l9 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass. 02215.

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