Here in Georgia we are heading into our usual long, hot summer, picnics and barbecues, lemonade and iced tea. Maybe these newer tidbits of information below can keep you working in a nice cool place indoors as you explore them. I’ve discovered new-to-me photo collections both near and far, as well as news about Georgia periodicals, and some new information about maps. See what interesting (red clay?) roads these materials might lead you down!
Updates – More on Researching Photographers Working in the South
Charles Milton Bell (1848-1893) was one of Washington’s leading portrait photographers during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The Library of Congress’s C. M. Bell Studio Collection consists of over 30,000 glass negatives dating 1873 to 1916.
This is an amazing resource for several reasons. The detailed identification on most of these portraits of government officials, visiting dignitaries, church leaders, athletes, entertainers, and of Washington’s black middle class is remarkable.
Upon Charles Milton Bell’s 1893 death, his wife Annie E. Colley Bell and their sons took over the studio, and ran it for several years. A sale of the studio was followed by another and another, but luckily, the negatives eventually found a home at the Library of Congress. Read more about this important studio and examine several images made by the Bell Studio using the link above.
Part of the Texas Digital Archive, the William Deming Hornaday Photograph Collection at the Texas State Archives now has an item level description available online. This collection, in addition to photographs, includes typescripts of World War I letters and personal accounts. William Deming Hornaday (1868-1942), the collector of these materials, was a journalist and Director of Publicity for the University of Texas.
Photos date from 1890 to about 1940 and most photographers’ names are unknown. Topics include people, places, and events in Texas, but photos also depict events and places in Mexico, Australia, China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and Hawaii.
The materials found in the Digital Maryland collections are now part of the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America). You will find images related to transportation, such as the B&O Railroad Museum collection of over 150 images of the development of one of the first railroads in the United States, and images depicting African-American life, for example is the Views of African American Life in Maryland collection. There is also a fascinating view of women working on the home front on farms during and after World War One in the Women’s Land Army of America, 1918-1923 collection. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so go explore it for yourself.
I’ve written about Heber Springs, Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer (born Michael Meyer) quite awhile before this, in my post on Arkansas in my series on Researching Photographers Working in the South. Not long ago I read a post on Disfarmer on the International Center of Photography blog “Fans in a Flashbulb” highlighting a new acquisition of theirs, another Disarmer photograph to add to the ICP’s existing 872 photographs by Disfarmer.
This post was so nicely done, I wanted to share it with you, but suddenly my link to that post did not work. I searched all of author Christopher George’s posts and still nothing – there were a lot of other nice posts, but not that one. Odd since the ICP posts, and mine, are both on WordPress. Well, whatever happened, this month it appeared (only to me?) again! Enjoy – the link above actually works.
The Georgia Archives holds the Mines Mining and Geology Collection which has about 4,000 photographs taken by S.W. McCallie and R.W. Smith, Georgia State Geologists, and other staff members of the State Geological Survey (which became the Department of Mines, Mining and Geology), from about 1910 into the 1940s.
In addition to documenting geological resources, there are photographs of bridges, roads, mines and mining and other man-made sites that provide a view of industry and development across the state. These photos were used in the Georgia Geologic Survey Bulletins, the publication of the Department of Mines, Mining and Geology., and they were also used in Outdoors in Georgia, the magazine of the Department of Natural Resources.
The latest thematic collection on Europeana Collections includes images from 50 institutions in 34 countries. The Europeana Photography archive now has 2,296,517 images, many of which are in the public domain. It is an embarrassment of riches — explore collections on Art, Fashion, Music, as well as Photography (for example, carte de visite), check out Sources and Time-Periods, and take a look at their Exhibits. Try Explore – topics and choose something, perhaps something you know about, or something you don’t. It includes over 2 million photographs from European photographers spanning the first 100 years of photography on the continent. Note that there are photographs made in the United States within many European collections. Here is an article at Hypoallergic to tell you all about it.
You can look at issues of Image, the magazine of the George Eastman House via Archive.org’s WaybackMachine. I was unaware of this source, and it is full of interesting things related to European and American photography as well as photography in other parts of the world. The publication began in 1952, and its contributors were important participants in and historians of photography as well as of the motion picture industry. Not all issues that were published are found here, but I am told that Eastman Museum Library is re-working access to their digitized issues on their site, so we hope that will happen soon. Meanwhile, we can express our thanks for The Wayback Machine, and especially for the Internet Archive that provides it.
Image includes much information on non-American photography and you may also be interested in checking out the The Royal Photographic Society Journal, 1853-2012, which is online and searchable. It is the oldest continuously published photographic periodical in the world and it is one of the key sources for the study of photography and photographic history in the United Kingdom, as well as elsewhere in the world.
Periodicals and Newspapers
Now online via the Atlanta History Center, in addition to the minutes of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, are issues of their publication, The City Builder. There is text-searchable online access to 346 issues of this publication (more than 10,000 pages of text and photographs), which began in March 1916. There are also over 30,000 pages of minutes and other Metro Atlanta Chamber publications dating back to 1900. Issues of the Builder online are for 1916-1936, and 1949-1961. In 1961 the Chamber began publishing Atlanta Magazine.
Topics covered include Atlanta businesses and civic organizations (the Red Cross, the Y, the Scouts, etc.), local government activities, education, reducing poverty, and of course, Atlanta as a hub of commerce. Topics relating to the entire state were also covered in the magazine, including World War I, Prohibition, automobile travel and aviation. Many of these articles were supplemented with photographs.
A focus was often put on the annual Southeastern Fair, run by the Chamber. This Fair was a great part of my childhood and teen years. It was located just over a mile from my home and it was an easy walk for eager children clutching a few dollars.
The Georgia EMC Collection is now available through the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG). This collection consists of publications put out by the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, the association of the state’s forty-one consumer-owned electric corporations. Rural Georgia, at times a newspaper and at times a magazine, was published 1945-1989, and Georgia magazine began publication in 1990 and continues monthly. The online collection includes most issues of these publications, 1950 – 2015.
Search these publications to find photographs of the sights and people from your own Georgia town or city – perhaps you can even find a relative. Track changes in agriculture, and in electric appliances in the kitchen and elsewhere through articles as well as wonderful advertisements. Look at and read about Georgia crafts, textiles, and more. Have fun.
I’ve told you about Ken Marks’s blog, “The Ancestor Hunt,” before. A friend of his, Brian Olmstead from Denver, Colorado, decided to take Ken’s lists of free newspapers around the United States, and map them using custom-made map using Google. The result is a quite useful tool that maps Ken’s over 430 links from 37 states (more than 40 million newspaper pages). Click a balloon and you will be taken to a page linked to the repository and the free newspaper(s). I located something brand new to me right away in a Georgia newspaper I rarely see elsewhere. Read about this project on his post Advantage Preservation Online Historic Newspaper Sites – MAPPED!
There are now close to 25,000 Sanborn maps online at The Library of Congress, and more will be added within the next three years which will make the total number online 500,000. These maps were published for insurance companies in order to assess fire risks of various types of structures. They were published for many towns and cities across the United States, and later maps were sometimes updated by pasting a building’s changes on the original map.
I have been able to find photographers’ studio and gallery locations on this site in the Georgia Sanborn maps . But I only recently realized that below each page of maps are links to related photographs (and other materials) found in the LC collections. For instance, take a look at this page for the April 1895 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia. Go all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see photographs, etc. related to the Newnan area — but be careful, sometimes images pertain to like-named towns in other states.
Back to roads we might go down …..now I know what I-85 looked like in my part of Georgia in 1984 – wow! Talk about change. Because the traffic is not what it used to be, stay safe and keep you eyes on the road as you head out on your next Hunting & Gathering adventure. And stay cool.
I just blew my response right off the monitor! It must be summer! Thanks very much for this incredible amount of intriguing information. You can be sure that it will be probed/dissected/accessed whatever! It is a magnificent treat for all of us who like to look at old photographs. Thanks!
Frances Osborn Robb
As always, thanks for reading, and for commenting!
I always am impressed by the wonderful resources that you highlight. There are so many resources available on the web, and over the years I’ve learned about many of them from you. I hope that you are having a wonderful summer.
Thank you so much! I am glad you find it useful and hope you, too, have a great, productive, summer.