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Finding Aid for the Robert B. Fisher Collection of Views of Europe, circa 1850-circa 1920
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Robert B. Fisher Collection of Views of Europe
    Date (inclusive): circa 1850-circa 1920
    Number: 94.R.30
    Creator/Collector: Fisher, Robert B., 1919-2004
    Physical Description: 9.8 linear feet (11 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: A collection of glass and paper stereographs, glass lantern slides, photographic prints (single and mounted in an album) and photomechanically illustrated travel booklets, primarily depicting European sites and cities, together with some genre scenes and a few non-European views.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English, French, German, and Italian

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Robert B. Fisher, M.D. moved to Washington Township, California in 1950 and established a medical practice in San Jose. He was keenly interested in local history, especially that of pioneer families who settled the area, and he founded Mission Peak Heritage Foundation in Fremont, California in 1962. He was also an expert on early European photography.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Robert B. Fisher collection of views of Europe, circa 1850-circa 1920, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 94.R.30

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 1994.

    Processing History

    Processed by Hilary Brown and Beth Guynn. Cataloged by Beth Guynn; finding aid encoded by Holly Larson with grant funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

    Related Archival Materials

    The Dr. Robert B. Fisher Collection, comprised of photographs and other materials pertaining to California history, is held at the Museum of Local History, Fremont.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Assembled by Dr. Robert B. Fisher over a 35-year period, the focus of the collection is early European photography. The collection contains 737 items in the following formats: 142 glass stereos, 164 lantern slides, 380 paper stereographs, 44 photographic prints, 1 album, and 6 travel booklets. The images primarily depict European sites and cities, together with some genre scenes and a few non-European views.
    Series I: Glass stereographs, comprises 142 items (boxes 1-3), arranged by geographic location. The countries represented are Austria, England (Roger Fenton, G.W. Wilson), France (Ferrier et Soulier), Germany, Italy (Grillet), Russia, Spain, Switzerland (Ferrier et Soulier), Istanbul (Ferrier et Soulier), and Egypt (Francis Frith). There is also a rare image of the moon by Warren De la Rue, circa 1860s, published by Smith, Beck, and Beck.
    Series II: Glass lantern slides, comprises 164 items (boxes 4-5). 109 images of France are by C.E. Green. The original negatives, circa 1859, were published by Levy and Company circa 1870; 100 are contained in their original box (box 4). A group of 39 slides mostly labeled 1916 represent a rail trip from Italy to Russia made that year; images include trains and train stations, markets, daily activities, monuments, parades, and demonstrations. A group of 16 miscellaneous slides contains images of Germany, France, the cliffs of Dover, Palestine, Spain, Ecuador, Egypt, and Martinique.
    Series III: Paper stereographs, comprises 380 items (boxes 6-7), arranged by country, and maker when known. The emphasis is on early stereographic formats including salt prints, tissue views, and hand-colored salt and albumen prints, mostly dating from 1850-1870. A number of the stereographs are from the Darrah collection. Countries represented include France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as sites in the Middle East. Great Britain is the best represented, with images by Francis Bedford, William England, Francis Frith, William Grundy, Negretti and Zambra (expositions at the Crystal Palace, 1851, and Sydenham, 1854), Ogle and Edge, William Russell Sedgfield, T. R. Williams, and G. W. Wilson. The early works of the London Stereographic Company are also well represented. French photographers include J. Hautecoeur and Richebourg. There are three stereos of the Paris Commune. Tissue views include several examples of French "Diablos," European genre scenes, and images of the Crystal Palace and London Bridge.
    Series IV: Single photographs, is comprised of 44 items (boxes 8-9). Box 8 consists of mostly unmounted photographs of France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. Photographers represented include: Neurdein Frères, Giorgio Sommer, and Alinari. Box 9 consists of mounted photographs, including nine images of Egypt by Zangaki, a view of the Mount of Olives by Bonfils, various views of Italy by Sommer and Alinari, and two views of Athens, possibly by Robert Macpherson.
    Series V is comprised of one leather-bound album (box 10) containing 140 albumen prints with handwritten captions in English. Some images are dated 1870 or 1872. The album belonged to an unidentified family who may have emigrated from Scotland to Canada. Images are of various sites in Scotland and of Hespeler and London, Ontario. In addition, there are several images of Niagara Falls by William Notman and images of San Francisco by Lawrence and Houseworth.
    Series VI: Travel booklets, is comprised of 6 volumes (box 11). The volumes are small, accordion-folded, photomechanically illustrated travel booklets. One booklet is entitled "Around the World." Another booklet is of views of the Isle of Wight. The remaining booklets depict various sites in Scotland.


    Organized in six series: ; ; ; ; ; .Series I. Glass stereographs Series II. Glass lantern slides Series III. Paper stereographs Series IV. Single photographs Series V. Album Series VI. Travel booklets

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Topics

    Crystal Palace (London, England)
    Great Exhibition (1851 : London, England)
    Railroad stations--Europe
    Railroad trains

    Subjects - Places

    Austria--Description and travel
    Ecuador--Description and travel
    Egypt--Description and travel
    Europe--Description and travel
    France--Description and travel
    Germany--Description and travel
    Great Britain--Description and travel
    Isle of Wight (England)--Description and travel
    Istanbul (Turkey)--Description and travel
    Italy--Description and travel
    Martinique--Description and travel
    Middle East--Description and travel
    Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)--Description and travel
    Ontario--Description and travel
    Palestine--Description and travel
    Paris (France)--History--Commune, 1871
    Russia--Description and travel
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Description and travel
    Scotland--Description and travel
    Spain--Description and travel
    Switzerland--Description and travel

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Albumen prints--19th century
    Albumen transparencies--19th century
    Collodion transparencies--19th century
    Collotypes--19th century
    Lantern slides--19th century
    Lantern slides--20th century
    Photograph albums--19th century
    Photomechanical prints--19th century
    Salted paper prints--19th century
    Tissue stereographs--19th century


    Bedford, Francis, 1816-1894
    Bonfils, Félix, 1831-1885
    Darrah, William Culp, 1909-1989
    De la Rue, Warren, 1815-1889
    England, William, 1830-1896
    Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869
    Fisher, Robert B., 1919-2004
    Fratelli Alinari
    Frith, Francis
    Green, C.E.
    Grundy, William Morris, 1806-1859
    Hautecoeur, J.
    Lawrence & Houseworth
    London Stereoscopic Company
    Léon et Lévy (Firm)
    Macpherson, Robert, 1815 or 16-1872
    Negretti and Zambra
    Neurdein frères
    Notman, William
    Ogle and Edge
    Photo Zürich
    Richebourg, A.
    Schmitz, Anselm, 1839-1903
    Sedgfield, William Russell, 1826-1902
    Smith, Beck, and Beck
    Sommer, Giorgio, 1834-1914
    Valentine, James, 1815-1879
    Williams, T. R.
    Wilson, G. W. (George Washington), 1823-1893
    Zangaki, P.