American 19th century commercial cartes de visites photograph album in tooled leather covers with ornate brass clasp. Contains 15 albumen print images, mostly cartes de visites of unidentified individual men and women. A few images show young children.
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For additional information on the history of 19th century American photograph albums see “Galleries of Friendship and Fame: a History of Nineteenth-Century American Photograph Albums” by Elizabeth Siegel (Yale University Press, 2010). Library copy available TR501.S537 2019
The history of American photograph albums begins in 1861 when cartes de visites photograph albums became patented; ending in 1888 shortly after the advent of the Kodak camera and the snapshot.
According to Siegel:
The parlor album functioned as a link to the past and to the future, a display of status and social connections, a family genealogy, and a national history. Its history was written in the factory, the photographer’s studio, and the domestic parlor; it was produced by album manufacturers, photographers, and entrepreneurs, as well as by young women participating in a fashionable craze and heads of families recording family images for posterity...By understanding the myriad roles and purposes of the nineteenth-century American photograph album, we begin to understand how the advent of photography has affected who we think we are, and how we show ourselves to others (p.13).
0.10 Cubic Feet (1 box)
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository