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George H. Seeley papers and photographs

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 459

Scope and Contents

This collection consists chiefly of papers and photographs created and collected by George H. Seeley that document his photographic career, as well as his later life and family spanning from 1900 to 1975.

A strength of the collection is the glass plate negatives used by Seeley to create his professional photographs. Photographic prints in the collection are predominantly work prints created by Seeley. There are film negatives that document his later life and family, as well as the landscape around Stockbridge and at Cape Cod.

A scrapbook in the collection, 1900-1915, includes correspondence with Alfred Stieglitz and Clarence White, as well as Curtis Bell, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Wendell G. Corthell, Daniel Chester French, Spencer Kellogg, Jr., John Nilsen Laurvik, Philip P. Sharples, and Edward Steichen. There is also loose correspondence with many of the same people, circa 1900-1930, as well as John Burroughs, Adolph de Meyer, Edward R. Dickson, and Augustus Thibaudeau. Writings in the collection include a set of index cards with notes relating to his photography and a notebook with entries about birds, as well as drafts by Laura Seeley about art photography and her brother. Realia in the collection consists of medals and awards for his photography, 1905-1930, as well as a register for an exhibit of Seeley's photographs in New York City, circa 1915-1918.

A small quantity of correspondence in the collection documents communication between his sister, Laura Seeley and Robert M. Doty of the George Eastman House, as well as with staff at the Yale University Library, circa 1960.

Dates

  • 1900 - 1975
  • Majority of material found within 1900 - 1950

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 8-17 (glass negatives): Restricted fragile material. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Boxes 19-21 (glass transparencies): Restricted fragile material. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Boxes 22-23 (film negatives): Restricted fragile material. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The George H. Seeley Papers and Photographs 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

Gift of Marion Cady Davis Byron, 1975.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Papers, 1900-1975. II. Photographs, 1900-1950. III. Negatives and Glass Transparencies, circa 1900-1940.

Extent

8.5 Linear Feet (24 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.seeley

Overview

This collection consists chiefly of papers and photographs created and collected by George H. Seeley that document his photographic career, as well as his later life and family spanning from 1900 to 1975. The collection includes glass plate negatives used by Seeley to create his professional photographs. Photographic prints in the collection are predominantly work prints created by Seeley. There are also film negatives that document his later life and family, as well as the landscape around Stockbridge and at Cape Cod.

George H. Seeley (1880-1955)

George Henry Seeley (1880-1955) was a photographer. He was a lifetime resident of Stockbridge, Massachusetts and supervisor of the art instruction for local schools, as well as an amateur ornithologist. As a photographer, Seeley was a leading member of the Photo-Secession movement along with Alfred Stieglitz, Clarence White, and others. Related to this work, he wrote articles about photography and published his photographs in photographic journals, including Camera Work, as well as exhibiting his images around the world. Seeley frequently used his sisters, May Elizabeth Seeley (born 1878), Lilian R. Seeley (born 1884), and Laura S. Seeley (1888-1979), as models for his photographs. His photography emphasizes soft focuses and subtle tonality. Seeley is also known for his landscape photography of winters in New England and Cape Cod beachscapes.

Processing Information

This finding aid is based on an inventory of the collection created by library staff in the 1970s. The collection was further processed in 2011, when it was arranged into the present series structure and rehoused into acid-free boxes.

Former call number: Uncat Za Ms 350.
Title
Guide to the George H. Seeley Papers and Photographs
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
May 2011
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

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

Location

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.