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Guide to the New-York Historical Society
Carte de Visite Photograph Collection
circa 1859-1900 (bulk, 1861-1869)

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by N-YHS staff, 2005; finding aid migrated by Joseph Ditta, 2020.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 29, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New-York Historical Society
Title: New-York Historical Society carte de visite photograph collection
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1859-1900 (bulk, 1861-1869)
Abstract: The collection consists of circa 6,000 photographic prints, most albumen on card mounts (2 1/2 x 4 in.); circa 150 engravings; lithographs, and photomechanical prints also on card mounts. The majority of images in the Society's collection date from the 1860s when the carte de visite photograph became the chief commercial portrait medium, showing only the sitter's head and shoulders. Many depict soldiers and officers in Civil War uniform. Later cards feature full-length figures posed in studio settings. Images of the members of the 1867 New York State Constitutional Convention are grouped together. Persons with more than ten portraits in the collection include: Robert Anderson, Nathaniel P. Banks, John Wilkes Booth, William Cullen Bryant, Ambrose Burnside, Benjamin Butler, Jefferson Davis, Elmer Ellsworth, David Farragut, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, William Pitt Kellogg, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, George B. McClellan, George Gordon Meade, William T. Sherman, and the concert singer Emma Thursby. Scenes of New York and other locations, Civil War views, natural history hand-colored lithographs, copies of miscellaneous paintings and other objects complete the file. Many photographs of New York City churches are from a series taken by New York photographer George Stacy, in circa 1863. Researchers seeking photographs of prominent persons or Union soldiers should consult this file; also those interested in costume history or the history of photography will find material of interest.
Quantity: 11.676 Linear feet (in 28 boxes).
Language: The collection is photographic but any text is generally in English.
Call Phrase: PR-011