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Call Number: JWJ MSS 54

Scope and Contents

More than two hundred cabinet photographs date from circa 1870 through 1900. Many of the subjects are unidentified; identified figures include the performer Matilda Sissieretta Jones, the Reconstruction congressman Blanche Kelso Bruce, Henry Ward Beecher, and various portraits of Frederick Douglass and members of his family. A group photo shows members of the South Carolina legislature of 1872, many of them former slaves. Among other group subjects are black lodge members, bands and singing groups (including the Only Original University Singers of New Orleans, circa 1875), university employees (Yale, Amherst, Kenyon, Wilberforce), grooms, carriage makers, farmers, cotton pickers, policemen, soldiers, and families and school children. Also included are portraits of conjoined twins Millie and Christine McCoy, who were born in North Carolina in 1851, and a lynching scene in Urbana, Ohio, circa 1890.


  • 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.

Related Archival Materials note

See Also: Item #2173, family photo album including cabinet photographs

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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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.