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Series I. Visual Material

Call Number: JWJ MSS 54

Scope and Contents

Visual Material consists chiefly of photographic images but also includes a small number of prints, paintings, and drawings. The photographs consist of nineteenth-century formats including Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, card photographs, stereographs, and larger albumen prints, as well as twentieth-century formats and genres including silver gelatin prints, photomechanical prints, snapshots, and news service photographs. The earlier photographs are predominantly portraits, but later images include outdoor scenes and documentary images of laborers at work in fields, factories, or shipyards, for example. Portrait subjects include servants, actors and musicians, athletes, military personnel, politicians, and leaders in the abolitionist and civil rights movements. The series also includes prints dating from the late eighteenth century, including engravings, etchings, and lithographs. The image subjects of the prints range from scenes of slavery to portraits of political figures to patriotic illustrations, including World War I posters promoting the military contributions of African Americans.


  • 1728 - 1991
  • Majority of material found within 1850 - 1970


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

Box 105 (film): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.


Series I. is organized into fifteen subseries: Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Tintypes, Cabinet Photographs, Cartes de Visite, Stereographs, Later 19th Century Photographs, 20th Century Photographs, Postcards, Photographic Postcards, Albums, Novelty Photographs, Prints, Paintings and Drawings, and Film. Within each subseries, material is arranged by the collector's item numbers.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.