Suddenly Spring Tuesday Tips


Adolphe Braun [Flower Study, Rose of Sharon], ca. 1854 Albumen silver print, from glass negative; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Gilman Paper Company, in memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr., 1987; accession 1987.1161

It is definitely Spring here in Georgia. It’s beautiful and the pollen is plentiful. A few interesting photo-related items have come up recently that I want to share with you. Some you may have seen, and some you may not have.

Big news in the world of photo historians is that the New York Public Library has brought out what they call the Photographers Identity Catalog (PIC). They describe it as “a collection of biographical data for over 115,000 photographers, studios, manufacturers, dealers, and others involved in the production of photographs” and it is world-wide in scope.

You may want to read the NYPL’s original announcement

I have been playing with this site for awhile. The site is in progress, but they still have work to do and I am sure the site will grow and improve.

Checking on some prominent Georgia photographers I have found that some show up in one place, but not in another. For instance, there is more than one cite for Linnie Condon (aka Mrs. L. Condon, aka Mrs. L. Condon-Hendrick) all with incomplete birth and death dates (although the latter is easily found).  In a search for “all USA women photographers,” her name does not come up at all.

I had better luck with photographer C.W. Motes, whose name revealed references to his work in the National Portrait Gallery and in the NYPL’s Photo Collection, to his partnership with Moore (but he had other partners), but again with incomplete birth and death dates, and only one of his Atlanta locations is given. There is no reference to his work in Athens, Georgia, or his work in Alabama. Dates for activity are extremely vague.

I also had some luck searching for John Usher, Jr. who worked in St. Louis, Mobile, and Columbia, South Carolina, as well as Augusta, Georgia. PIC only cites his very earliest year in Augusta although he worked there a number of years, into 1899. His very brief partnership with L.N. Wade is listed, but not his earlier, longer, partnership with George Gable. Gable worked as a photographer in five Georgia cities, 1855- 1899, but he is not listed at all.

George S. Cook is listed only by his full name, using his middle name of Smith. If one is to believe the records found on PIC, he only worked in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Richmond, Virginia. My published research and the published research of many others prove otherwise.

My work on these photographers, and the similar work of photo-historians around the world, adds significantly to that previously published and what is on at least one website used by PIC. Although my Georgia Photographers, 1841-1861, the First Generation and my Early Georgia Photographers, a Biographical Checklist, 1841-1861  have both been published (updates to the latter easily available online), I do not believe NYPL has begun to seek out this information. Their sources seem, in my opinion, to be limited. They have a Feedback contact method that I hope will allow photo historians to assist in their effort – to correct, as well as add to, these records.

Jackson's Picture Gallery Newnan adv.15June1876

This advertisement for photographer S.F. Jackson appeared in the Newnan Herald from June 1 through October 1876.

Another announcement came last week from the Digital Library of Georgia (part of Georgia’s Virtual Library GALILEO based at the University of Georgia). This time they have announced an expansion of the West Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive which now provides access to thirteen newspaper titles in seven different cities  

New to the West Georgia group are: Fayetteville Advertiser (1845), Fayetteville Chronicle (1886), Fayetteville News (1888-1925), Herald and Advertiser (Newnan) (1887-1909), Newnan Herald (1865-1921), Newnan Herald & Advertiser (1909-1915), Newnan News (1906-1907) and Newnan Weekly News (1905-1906).

These newspapers join the Butler Herald (1876-1942), Carroll Free Press (Carrollton) (1883-1922), Douglas County Sentinel  (Douglasville) (1917-1922), LaGrange Herald (1843-1844), LaGrange Reporter (1857-1914), and Paulding/Dallas New Era (1883-1908).

This newspapers site is another that is compatible with all current browsers.  The newspaper page images can be viewed without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. More good news for those of us with Macs!

Here are two other brief items that may be of interest to you. Although they are not exactly “new,” they may be things you would not have noticed. 

The wonderful site Luminous-Lint is seeking new images to add. First, they are looking for Hand-coloured landscapes – such as stereo views or lantern slides  (colored salt prints or large albumen prints of landscapes are rare). Second, they seek Photographs that include data, such as scientific instruments documenting experiments, etc.

If you have never taken a look at the Oxford American‘s online photo column called Eyes on the South, which is curated by Jeff Rich, you should. You will find the photographs and photographers highlighted are worth knowing about. It “features selections of current work from Southern artists or artists whose work concerns the South.”

I hope you find at least one item mentioned here helpful, or at least somewhat interesting to you. Enjoy your remaining Spring, and enjoy your springtime Hunting and Gathering.

© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without  written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. The piece can be re-blogged, and 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.


  1. woodpainter · · Reply

    I tried “Arkansas” as a search term. Only a few items came up and all but one was in Kansas. arKansas. With or without quotes I got the same result. Thank you for your excellent review of a valuable tool.

    1. Thanks for reading and for trying PIC and posting your comment. They have much work to do, and we hope things will improve and take into account all the photographers those of us working on the “local level” have brought to light.

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