Peter E. Palmquist collection of photography and photographic formats
Scope and Contents
This collection documents photography and photographic formats, circa 1838-1999, which Peter Palmquist collected from 1971 to 2002, and complements other collections compiled by Palmquist and held by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The collection includes material by professional and amateur photographers and documents aspects of photography from the capture of images through the production of a variety of photographic objects, as well as the marketing and storage of photographs.
The collection is particularly strong in documenting photographic formats. It contains many examples of tintypes and photograph buttons, as well as samples of autochromes, crayon enlargements, greeting cards, jewelry, memorial cards, opalotypes, photographic transparencies, playing cards, stamp photographs, stanhopes, stereograph cards, and wanted posters. The collection also includes examples of photographically illustrated realia, including boxes, cutting tools, paperweights, tobacciana, trays, and writing equipment.
The collection includes about 750 photographic prints by photographers not included in other collections compiled by Palmquist, including itinerant photographers and male photographers working east of the Mississippi River in the United States, as well as male photographers working outside of the United States. It also includes groups of photographic prints that depict celebrities and children, as well as photographs on a variety of subjects by unidentified photographers
Printed material in the collection includes primary documents and secondary research material about photography and photographic formats, as well as examples of advertising for photographers, photographic suppliers, and photographic organizations.
- circa 1838-1999
- Palmquist, Peter E. (Collector)
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Peter E. Palmquist Collection of Photography and Photographic Formats is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Peter Palmquist on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana and Walter McClintock Memorial Fund, 2002.
Organized into nine series: I. Research Volumes and Printed Material, circa 1970-1999. II. Printed Material, circa 1846-1994. III. Photographic Processing Material, circa 1875-circa 1993. IV. Photographs by Format, circa 1855-1940. V. Photographic Prints by Male Photographers, circa 1860-circa 1930. VI. Photographic Prints by Subject, circa 1855-circa 1950. VII. Photographs by Unidentified Photographers, circa 1838-circa 1950. VIII. Realia with Photographs, circa 1850-circa 1950. IX. Housing for Photographs, 1862-1931.
57.6 Linear Feet ((186 boxes) + 1 broadside folder)
Language of Materials
This collection documents photography and photographic formats, circa 1846-1999, which Peter Palmquist collected from 1971 to 2002, and complements other collections compiled by Palmquist and held by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The collection includes material by professional and amateur photographers and documents aspects of photography from the capture of images through the production of a variety of photographic objects, as well as the marketing and storage of photographs.
Peter E. Palmquist (1936-2003)
A photographer, collector, and historian of photography, Peter Eric Palmquist was born in Oakland, California on September 23, 1936. In 1944, he moved with his family to Ferndale, California, and he spent most of his life in Humboldt County. During adolescence, Palmquist trained himself in photography. He served in the United States Army as a photographer from 1955 to 1959, mainly with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France. Palmquist worked briefly as a photographer for the state government of California from 1959 to 1961. From 1961 until his retirement in 1989, Palmquist worked as a staff photographer for Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, where he also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art in 1965.
From 1971 until his death, Palmquist collected textual materials and hundreds of thousands of photographic items documenting the practice and occupation of photography from its beginning through the turn of the twenty-first century. He had particular interest in early California photographers, photographers of the American West, and women photographers.
A self-trained researcher and historian of photography, Palmquist organized more than one hundred exhibitions and wrote more than three hundred articles and a hundred monographs. He was a founding editor of The Daguerreian Annual, and a president of the National Stereoscopic Association.
Palmquist died January 13, 2003, in Oakland.
The information in this finding aid derived mainly from word processing files and research files created by Palmquist and his assistants, 1971-2001.
This collection received a basic level of processing in 2012-2013, including rehousing and organization. Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
- Autochromes (photographs)
- Black-and-white transparencies
- Buttons (information artifacts)
- Celebrities -- Pictorial works
- Children -- Pictorial works
- Crayon enlargements
- Greeting cards
- Memorial cards
- Palmquist, Peter E.
- Photographic industry
- Photographic prints
- Photography -- History
- Photography, Stereoscopic
- Playing cards
- Stanhopes (photographs)
- Tintypes (prints)
- Wanted posters
- Guide to the Peter E. Palmquist Collection of Photography and Photographic Formats
- by Matthew Daniel Mason
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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.