Skip to main content

Keith Marshall collection of photographs

Call Number: MSS 12

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises 147 photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with representative images of Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Madeira, East Asia, and other locations (many unidentified). The various components of the collection were acquired by Keith Marshall during the course of his collecting of material on John Ruskin. The photographs were not, thus, assembled as an intentional (thematic) collection; they nonetheless provide an interesting selection of commercial, travel, and personal images of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods.

The names of photographers are recorded on a number of the photographs. They include E.E. Caney, George Henry Hana, Arthur Nicholls, Alex Rambert, Thomas Daniel Ravenscroft, Scott Wilkinson, S.A.C. Williams, Brown Barnes & Bell, Martin and Sallnow, Pulman and Son Photographers, Sallo Epstein & Co., and the Territorial Studio (Umtata, South Africa).

The photographs are organized in topical groups, the most significant parts of which are as follows.

Maude Douglas: The collection includes a set of cabinet cards of the young actress, Maude Douglas, who performed, among other places, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in the 1890s. She was likely a dancer or other minor performer in burlesque theater. According to a partial inscription on one cabinet card, she appeared in an 1892 production of Faust up to date, a popular spoof of the legendary opera. These cards document theatrical costume and makeup of the fin de siècle, and evidence a young woman’s perhaps fleeting career in show business. There is one letter and a calling card from Douglas as well. These items show that she also went by the name "Maude Francis" and married a Mr. Elliott.

Domestic interiors and exteriors: A significant part of the collection consists of photographs of interiors and exteriors of an affluent British or British-style home around the turn of the century, offering representative glimpses of interior decoration and domestic architecture of the period.

South Africa: The collection contains many images of various locations in South Africa, documenting the landscape and architecture of this area around the turn of the twentieth century. Locations represented include Cape Town and Durban.

Mariannhill Monastery: Among the oversize material are a set of album pages containing photos of Mariannhill, a Benedictine monastery that was founded in the 1880s, in Durban, South Africa. It was unusual for having its own photography and printing studio, and some of the images in this set seem to have come from this studio. The photos document the monks’ daily lives and work, as well as missionary education in South Africa.

Mauritius: There are many images--most of them commercially produced, by Alex Rambert--of the island of Mauritius. These depict both landscapes and architectural scenes in and around the town of Reduit, in the 1880s or 1890s.

Venice: The collection includes a large set of commercially produced souvenir photographs of Venice (Italy), printed by the German company, Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG). The NPG, an early example of a large-scale commercial photography business, established efficient and cost-effective printing processes and were an important part of European commercial photography in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Maori of New Zealand: There are a handful of large-scale portraits of Maori tribespeople and leaders. Identical images and negatives, matching some of the items in the present collection, are in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand.


  • circa 1880-circa 1920


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is the physical property of the Yale Center for British Art. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Keith (Yale BA 1968) and Millie Marshall, 2012


The collection is arranged into three series: I. People; II. Places; III. Oversize.


2 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The collection comprises 147 photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with representative images of Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Madeira, East Asia, and other locations (many unidentified).

Keith Marshall Collection of Photographs
compiled by Fiona Robinson ; edited by Francis Lapka
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts
1080 Chapel Street
P. O. Box 208280
New Haven CT 06520-8280 US


1080 Chapel Street
New Haven , CT 06510

Opening Hours