Tuesday Tips Redux: “Researching Photographers Working in the South”

Barnard Nashville

Nashville from the Capitol, George N. Barnard, ca. 1865; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Object 84XM.468; digital image courtesy their Open Content Program

After my three posts on “Researching Photographers Working in the South,” I found a few things lacking! Of course, a source list will always grow, and always change, so I do not feel too badly about it. What I have found is that I seem to be paying too little attention to my own notes, which included some sources I left out.

I think I have a few too many irons in the fire lately, and I apologize for having to update. Excuses aside, below is the “new” information that I want to share with you.

First, a note about some “dead” links I recently discovered in my post of August 6, Researching Photographers, Part 2 http://wp.me/p3wX4F-5U which included the state of Tennessee. Although these links were working the day I posted, they did not work one week later when I wanted to follow and link to one. The links are now fixed and working!

Now, here are a few additions to Researching Photographers Part 1 http://wp.me/p3wX4F-55 for the states of Alabama and Florida.


A. J. Riddle, Eufaula, Alabama, backmark of a carte-de-visite, ca. 1875; author’s collection

Riddle was a Columbus, Georgia photographer who was in Eufaula from April 1872-ca. 1880 where he ran the Commercial hotel, as well as a billiard parlor and a photo studio


Alabama Mosaic covers the Photographic Collections at The McCall Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile. http://tinyurl.com/m4df5xd  Several of these collections are of note, and some of them are cited below.

The Clinton King Collection (91-09-228) of carte de visites and cabinet cards. These must be viewed at the repository, but the collection does give “insight into the numerous [photo] studios working in the city [of Mobile] in the mid- to late-19th century” and would be worth a trip. 

The Erik Overby Collection. These over 95,000 negatives, etc. were produced by the Overbey Studio, 1903 -1963, or by the William A. Reed Studio, 1880s – 1911. Portrait negatives are listed alphabetically. http://tinyurl.com/ln9nz46

Walker Evans Greensboro 1935

Walker Evans, Greensboro, Alabama, 1936, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; digital image courtesy their Open Content Program

The T. E. Armitstead Collection of images by the photographer Thomas E. Armitstead documents economic life in the Mobile area ca. 1896. http://tinyurl.com/kkkk6e4

A collection of photographs by a 20th century photographer is the Wilson C. Burton Portraits. This large collection of over 76,000 negatives (over 40,000 negatives are color) dates from 1935-1998, bulking in 1957-1994. This collection is significant to family genealogists because the negatives are arranged alphabetically by last name, giving subject, date, and race of the person photographed. Burton made portraits of the persons in, as well as outside of, the Mobile, AL area. http://tinyurl.com/m25r565

Another 20th century photographer represented here is Stanley Blake McNeely, 1896-1982, a free-lance photographer who photographed people, weddings, Mardi Gras parades, sports events, school activities, and also WWII activities in and around Mobile. There are about 10,000 items in the collection. Portraits are filed alphabetically. http://tinyurl.com/nyk4b2b


Howard, Orlando FL c1898

E. C. Howard, Orlando, Unidentified siblings ca. 1900; author’s collection

The Burgert Brothers Photograph Collection is accessible via the Tampa Hillsboro Public Library website http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/research/burgert/ but they are housed at the John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa. This significant collection from the studio of brothers Al and Jean Burgert has over 15,000 images. These images provide a record of the growth of the Tampa Bay region, and date from the 1890s to the early 1960s, .

The images must be used on-site at the Library in downtown Tampa, but fortunately for us, a private individual, William L. Martin, has done an index to 14,234 of the images that have been digitized. http://tinyurl.com/kjp8m37 Martin’s index to the 431 Cirkut (panoramic) images is found here; http://tinyurl.com/ll47maj simply click on one to enlarge it.

The University of South Florida holds a Burgert Brothers Collection of Tampa Photographs. These 859 prints, dating 1918 to early 1960s, come from various sources and can be searched or browsed online at http://guides.lib.usf.edu/content.php?pid=86148&sid=640824#

A book about the Burgerts was written by Robert Snyder and Jack Moore and published in 1992, Pioneer Commercial Photography: the Burgert Brothers, Tampa, Florida (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida) [ISBN 10 – 0813011507].  A paperback was issued in 2007 by the Florida Historical Society Press [ISBN 10 -1886104255].

I have one addition for North Carolina on my Part 2 “Researching Photographers” post.  It is a list of photographers kept by the State Archives of North Carolina, but there are no links or digital images associated with it. This A-Z listing is called the Roster of North Carolina Photographers, 1842-1941 and you can find it at http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/nontextual_roster.htm



Women participating in an expert needlework class, Baltimore, ca.1935, WPA Project Number 7012; Maryland Dept., Enoch Pratt Free Library 

Regarding my post on Researching Photographers, Part 3 http://wp.me/p3wX4F-6X I want to add the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage site http://collections.mdch.org/cdm/  as a possible source for your particular search. I am unaware of any specific collections of Maryland’s photographers or studios here but there are many collections of interest. For instance the Views of African American Life in Maryland collection, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of Maryland photographs.

That’s my update. I am all ears, so please don’t hesitate to tell me about non-working links, misinformation, or helpful source additions about photographers working in the South. As always, Happy Hunting!

Me, a Bluebird, at eight holding my Kodak Brownie camera.

Me, a Bluebird, at eight years, holding my ever present Kodak Brownie Bullet camera.

© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering,  2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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