Finding aid for the 19th century photographs collection 0127

Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein
USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Title: 19th century photographs collection
Collection number: 0127
Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet 1 box
Date: circa 1860s-1870s
Abstract: Tintype, ambrotype, cartes-de-visite, and cabinet card portrait photographs of the Civil War period (soldiers and civilians).

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], 19th century photographs collection, Collection no. 0127, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.


Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Martin B. Retting, 1983.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 40 tintypes, 10 ambrotypes, 22 cartes-de-visite, 1 photograph album of cartes-de-visite, and 1 cabinet card, created during the 1860s and 1870s and depicting portraits of Civil War soldiers and civilians, landscapes, and an animal. The identified photographers include C.V. Tarbox; M.G. Trank, Bangor, ME; A.H. Dresser, Bucksport, MA; J.P. Merrill, Bangor, ME; Mather; Titusville, PA; J.P. and F.W. Hardy, Bangor, ME; Bogardus, New York, NY; D.C. Dinsmore, Dover, ME; Miller & Rowell, Boston, MA; Bowdoin, Taylor & Co., Alexandria, VA; J.R. Foster, Great Falls, NH; Davis & Co., Boston, MA; H.L. Kilgore, Belfast, ME; W. Chase, Halifax, Nova Scotia; J.L. Lovell, Amherst, MA; Lovell & Knowlton, Northampton, MA; S.W. Sawyer, Bangor, ME; Holmes' Park Gallery, New York, NY. Most of the tintypes and ambrotypes are housed in ornately embossed book-case frames.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Ambrotypes (photographs)
Cabinet photographs
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
Portraits--United States--19th century--Photographs
Soldiers--United States--19th century--Photographs
Tintypes (prints)



Box 1, Item 1-14

Civil War soldiers 1860s

Scope and Content

With the exception of items 1 and 2, all tintypes are mounted in embossed book-style frames.
Box 1, Item 21-46

Men, women and children circa 1860s-1870s

Scope and Content

Items 21-25 are 5 tintypes mounted on embossed cards with domed pediments. Items 26-29 are 4 tintypes (1 woman, 3 men), oval, mounted on embossed mats. Items 30-39 are 10 tintypes of men and women, miniature in size, mounted on embossed mats. Item 40 depicts a mother and child and is mounted on an embossed card with a domed pediment. Item 41 is a miniature tintype framed with a small gilt border and mounted on an embossed card. Item 42 is unmounted. Item 43 depicts a dog. Items 44-46 are housed in embossed book frames.


Box 1, Item 15-20

Civil War soldiers 1860s

Scope and Content

Ambrotypes housed in embossed, book frames.
Box 1, Item 47-50

Men and women 1860s-1870s

Scope and Content

Ambrotypes housed in embossed, book frames.

Cartes de visite

Box 1, Item 51-68

Men and women 1860s-1870s

Scope and Content

Items 54-63 depict men and women full figure or head and shoulders. Items 64-70 are busts only.
Box 1, Item 69

Landscape with waterfall

Box 1, Item 70

Group of people in front of house [in Nova Scotia?]

Box 1, Item 71

Abraham Lincoln and family

Box 1, Item 72

George Washington

Box 1, Item 74

Photograph album

Scope and Content

Photograph album of mounted cartes-de-visite depicting Civil War soldiers, Civil War political figures, men and women. Many of the sitters are identified; many of the photographs have notations of location.

Cabinet cards

Box 1, Item 73

Unidentified woman

Box 1, Item 75-76


Scope and Content

2 embossed book case frames, no photographs.