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Stanley B. Burns, M.D., historic medical photography collection

Call Number: Ms Coll 76
Content Description

The collection includes photographs collected by Stanley B. Burns, M.D., that document the history of medical science and medical practice circa 1840 through the 1970s. Items in the collection were created using multiple photographic techniques and supports including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, lantern slides, photographic negatives, cartes de visite, cabinet photographs (cabinet cards), stereoscopic photographs, panoramic photographs, picture postcards, gelatin silver prints, albumen prints, and photolithographs.

Materials in the collection are grouped in series and subseries by topic and/or format according to the order in which they were received from Dr. Burns. Description of materials in the collection, including subject terms and item numbers, is based on description provided by Dr. Burns when the collection was acquired.

Series I. Archive Wall includes 61 framed photographs which were formerly displayed at the Burns Archive. Photographic prints in the series cover a range of subjects and photographic techniques.

Series II. Hard images includes daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. Most items in this series are encased in original hinged frames. The series is further divides into two subseries: Physicians (78 items) and Patients (151 items). The Physicians subseries documents physicians, medical practitioners, and medical students, often posed with skulls, medical equipment, or other accoutrements of their profession. The Patients subseries documents patients suffering from a variety of ailments, some depict treatments.

Series III. Lantern slides includes 264 glass plate slides.

Series IV. Panoramic photographs includes two large photographic prints.

Series V. Assembled collections includes photographic prints created using a variety of photographic techniques grouped into 33 subseries. Items in subseries were not acquired as established collections, but were grouped by Dr. Burns according to topic and/or format.

Series VI. Special collections incudes photographic prints created using a variety of photographic techniques grouped into 58 subseries. Items in subseries were acquired by Dr. Burns as established collections; many were created by a single medical practitioner or to document a project or event.

Series VII. Photograph albums includes 49 albums containing prints created using a variety of photographic techniques. Albums in the series were created by medical practitioners, organizations, or institutions. Albums document the personal lives of medical practitioners, medical institutions, medical colleges,

Series VIII. Albums de l'Internat includes 13 annual volumes documenting interns at all of Paris' hospitals.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is unprocessed. Contact the Medical Historical Library at to request access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Stanley B. Burns, M.D., 2020.


The collection is arranged in 8 series: Series I. Archive wall. Series II. Hard images. Series III. Lantern slides. Series IV. Panoramic photographs. Series V. Assembled collections. Series VI. Special collections. Series VII. Medical photograph albums. Series VIII. Albums de l'internat.

Related Materials

Published works from the Stanley B. Burns, M.D., Historic Medical Photography Collection have been individually cataloged and can be discovered by searching Orbis.

Circa 1840-1979
10,000 Items
Related Names
Burns, Stanley B.
Language of Materials