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Albums of Photographs, 1850-present


Collection digitized? Partially. A growing number of photographic albums are digitized and available through the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
Jump to: 1850-1874 | 1875-1899 | 1900-1924 | 1925-1949 | 1950-1974 | 1975-1999 | 2000-present | Resources
Officers of the 25th United States Colored Troops

Officers of the 25th United States Colored Troops,
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.11284

Introduction

Many collections in the Prints and Photographs Division (P&P) have photograph albums. This reference aid provides an overview for both rare and typical types, with an emphasis on albums that are viewable online. 

Bottom line: If you’re interested in albums, you can see P&P holdings through the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, //www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=%22photograph%20albums%22&fi=subject.

Photograph albums are valuable visual resources because they offer selected sets of images conveniently gathered together for study or pleasure, often with a special narrative or presentation. The subject matter varies as widely as the inspiration that motivates album creators. Common goals include preserving personal family memories and travel souvenirs, commemorating special events, documenting construction projects or wars, presenting photojournalism investigations, creating yearbooks and autobiographies, and providing visual indexes to a photographer’s work. 

The more than 900 albums in P&P also have special research value for understanding the role of albums in social history because they include a wide range of styles from the 1850s to the present. Most of the albums are unique compilations created in either hand-made or commercially sold blank volumes. A few were issued in multiple copies. Compilers of the albums were primarily based in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

Photograph Albums in the Prints & Photographs Division

WPA-Federal Art Project photographs of Pennsylvania coal miners…
WPA-Federal Art Project photographs of Pennsylvania coal miners…. //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001695929/

The Prints & Photographs Division (P&P) acquired its first photo album as early as 1869--a volume documenting the construction of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, DC. More albums are added each year.

Hundreds of albums are available for study by visiting the P&P research center in person. Because special handling arrangements are often needed, please view the description in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog and, if indicated in the "Access Advisory," make an appointment before coming, //www.loc.gov/rr/print/info/001_ref.html#in. Also keep in mind that some albums are so fragile only digital or printed reproductions are used in order to preserve the original volumes.

This selected list focuses primarily on albums that have been digitized and can be seen online. Also included are searches to show descriptions of popular album types, such as the carte de visite books from the mid 1800s. Viewing the description in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog will enable you to select to view any online images. The description generally also offers information about any rights restrictions.

The entries are grouped chronologically in spans of 25 years to assist with understanding how the album format has developed over time. Within each quarter century, the albums are listed alphabetically by photographer or compiler. Anonymous albums are listed by title.

An asterisk indicates the albums described in depth in the book Photographic Memory (see Bibliography).

1850-1874

Carte de visite albums.
View descriptions of cataloged albums: //www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=%22cartes%20de%20visite%22%20%22photograph%20albums%22&fi=subject

Construction of the United States Treasury building, Sept. 23, 1857 to Nov. 6th 1867.  Acquired in 1869. Call number LOT 12364.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004667142 | View items from the album

Gardner, Alexander. Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War.  Washington: Philp & Solomons, [1866]. Call number: E468.7 .G2 (Case Y).
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/01021785/

M’Clees, James E. McClees' Gallery of Photographic Portraits of the Senators, Representatives & Delegates of the Thirty-fifth Congress. Washington: McClees & Beck, [1859]. Call number: JK1012 .M35 1859 (Case X).
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009633223/ | View items from the album

Metzner, Aldolph. [Adolph Metzner photograph album with portraits of 32nd Indiana Regiment officers and others]. 1861-1865.  Call number LOT 8751.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003653222/ | View items from the album

[Officers of the 25th United States Colored Troops]. 1864-65. Call Number: LOT 14023.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010645101/

[Portraits of rulers, politicians, military figures and other notables, chiefly relating to the reign of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico]. [1850-1880] Call Number: LOT 3112. 
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/91795469/ | View items from the album

Russell, Andrew J. and United States Military Railway Department. [Photographs illustrative of operations in construction and transportation, as used to facilitate the movements of the Armies of the Rappahannock, of Virginia, and of the Potomac...]. [Boston: Wright & Potter Printers, 1863].  Call Number: LOT 9209.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004668756/ | View items from the album

Smallwood Collection, donated by Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr., 1957.

Turkestan Albums. 1871-1872. Call number: DK854 .T87 1872 (Case Z).
View description (overview): //www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/287_turkestan.html

1875-1899

Abdul Hamid II Collection. 51 large albums showing the Ottoman Empire, 1880-1893.
View description (overview): //www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/ahii/about.html

American Colony (Jerusalem). 3 albums from this era.
View description (overview): //www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/629_whiting.html

[Japanese people and views]. [ca. 1890]. Call number: LOT 9648.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008675324/ | View items from the album

Kate Williams, Souvenir, 1886.  Call number: LOT 5869. 
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005692691/

Kirkbride, Joseph John. [Travel photographs of Philadelphia physician Joseph John Kirkbride]. 8 albums, including early Kodak snapshots. Call number: LOT 7753.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002717322/

Pray, Eleanor. [Pray Family Expatriate Life in Vladivostok, Russia].  1899-1909, bulk 1899.
Call number: LOT 13519.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003652872/ | View items from the album

[Snapshots made in France, 1896-98]. Collected by Harvey Washington Wiley. Call number: LOT 6801.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005690431/

1900-1924

American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Dept. 8 albums from this era.
View description (overview): //www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/629_whiting.html

* Fisher, Clyde.  John Burroughs. 1915-1922. Call number: LOT 13991.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009632644/ 

* Day, F. Holland. The Seventh Thousanth [sic] and Eight Hundredth and Sixty Third Performance at the Diving Board, L.G.H. 1911. Call number: LOT 14030.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010646350/

Ewing, Inc. [Views of the Mississippi River and tributaries after the flood of 1927]. Call number: LOT 3375.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002715116/ | View items from the album

* [French Airships]. [ca.1906-11]. Alfred Hildebrandt Collection. Call Number: LOT 6113.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005687894/

Katalog der Privat-Gallerie Adolf Hitlers. [ca. 1936]. Call number: LOT 11373.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004676971/

* [Lloyd Family album]. [ca. 1920]. Call number: LOT 14027.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010633039/

* [Prisons in the Philippine Islands]. [ca. 1914]. Call number: LOT 6766.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005690402/

Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich. 12 albums showing the Russian Empire, 1905-1915.
View descriptions: //www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=prokudin gorskii album cm&co=coll

* Souvenir of Frank L. Gregg's Military Party, February 21, 1913. Call number: LOT 13969.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009631552/

* Variclé, Jean Antony. Sketches of the Northland: The Yukon Territory after the Discovery of Gold. 1905.  Call number: LOT 14028.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010650078/

1925-1949

* Die Arbeit der Hitler Jugend im Jahre 1934. 1935. Cover title: Der Marsch zur Disziplin. Call number: LOT 8431.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004676956/

Beals, Jessie Tarbox. [Album of photographs of the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire]. 1925. Call number: Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1980:070.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007675096/

Delano, Jack. No Movie Tonight, 24 Hours at a B-29 Field. [1945]. Call number: LOT 13832.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007677400/  

* _____. [WPA-Federal Art Project photographs of Pennsylvania coal miners and coal mining communities]. [1938 or 1939]. Call number: LOT 13323.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001695929/

* Evans, Walker. [Photograph Albums for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men]. [1935-1936]. Call number: LOT 991.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003656560/
 
* Glaha, Ben. [Boulder Dam; a portfolio of photographs prepared for Hon. Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior]. [1934]. Call number: LOT 7365.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005690245/

* Lange, Dorothea. First Rural Rehabilitation Colonists, Northern Minnesota to Matanuska Valley, Alaska. 1935.  Call number: LOT 961. 
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95503550/

* _____. Migration of Drought Refugees to California. April 17, 1935. Call number: LOT 897.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004678002/

[Photoarchiv Generalfeldmarschall Göring]. Primarily 1930-1942. Hermann Göring Collection. 47 albums.  LOT 3128.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Photoarchiv%20Generalfeldmarschall%20G%C3%B6ring%20in%20the%20Hermann%20G%C3%B6ring%20collection.&co=coll

* Riefenstahl, Leni. XI Olympiad, Berlin. 1936. Call number: LOT 8437.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005677082/ | View items from album

* Tale of Politics, Starring Clare Boothe Luce, 1948. Call number: LOT 11236-3, no. 6..
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010649508/

* Taylor, Paul Schuster, and Dorothea Lange. Establishment of Rural Rehabilitation Camps for Migrants in California. March 15, 1935.  Call number: LOT 898.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004678009/

* Waldman, Max. Color Town: A Southern Black Community. 1947. Call number: LOT 14002.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010646359/

Whiting, John D.  10 albums showing the Middle East, primarily in the 1930s.
View description (overview): //www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/629_whiting.html

Zagourski, Casimir. [Photographs of tribal groups, rituals, and domestic life of the Congo]. [ca. 1930].  Call number: Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 2009: 024.  View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009633256/

1950-1974

Gottscho, Samuel H. Seventy-one Years, or, My Life with Photography. [compiled 1968].

* Smith, Eugene. A City Experienced; Pittsburgh, Pa.; A Photographic Interpretation and Essay. Conceived and photographed in 1955-56. Call number: LOT 7411.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005682181/

1975-1999

* Goldberg, Jim. Hotel Guest Register. 1977. Call number:  LOT 14029.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009633254/

* Michals, Duane. Duane Michals #3 Album. January 10, 1975. Call number: LOT 13030.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/93516302/

2000-present

* Dupont, Stephen. Journal. 2007-09. LOT 14041.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010652050/ 

* Lyon, Danny. The Family Album of Daniel Joseph Lyon, 1970-2008. Made in 2008-09. LOT 13995.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009633255/

* Ventura, Paolo. Polaroid & prime stampe, 2006. LOT 14042.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010648637/

* _____. Polaroids, 2008-09. LOT 14026.
View description: //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010649605/ 

Resources

Bibliography (Selected)

Curtis, Verna P.  Photographic Memory: The Album in the Age of Photography. New York: Aperture Books, with Library of Congress, 2011.  (forthcoming)
Covers the 20th century, with in-depth descriptions of 30 special albums.

Levine, Barbara. Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album.  New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. (Call number: TR501 .S63 2006 P&P Ref)

Levine, Barbara, and Kirsten Jensen. Around the World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. (Call number: TR790 .L48 2007 P&P Ref)

Siegel, Elizabeth. Galleries of Friendship and Fame: A History of Nineteenth-century American Photograph Albums. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.; (Call number: TR501 .S537 2010 P&P Ref)
Includes extensive footnotes citing publications from the 1800s through recent dissertations.

Collections Beyond the Prints & Photographs Division

At the Library of Congress

Photograph albums can be found among the personal papers and special collections held in many divisions, especially Manuscript, Music, American Folklife, and Veteran’s History. 

Online finding aids index some albums at //www.loc.gov/findingaids

Conservation advice is offered in “Preservation of Scrapbooks and Albums,“ //www.loc.gov/preserv/care/scrapbk.html.  

At Other Institutions

Most archives, libraries, and museums have photograph albums. Representative institutions that provide special online access to their albums include:

Harvard University, Baker Library
http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/pc/photo-albums.html External link

New-York Historical Society
http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/nyhs/album.html External link

Online Archive of California (search for the phrase “photograph albums”)
http://www.oac.cdlib.org External link

State Library of Queensland
http://www.pictureqld.slq.qld.gov.au/home/features/albums External link


Prepared by: Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs, Dec. 2010
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  January 19, 2011
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