Photograph album of Mexico, 1883-1900

Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph album of Mexico


Title supplied by cataloger.
Date (inclusive): 1883-1900
Collection number: 94/320
Physical Description: 1 album (34 photographic prints) : albumen ; 21 x 26 cm.

Photographs mounted on leaves of medium gray heavy paper, with calligraphic captions in English in white ink; bound in matching gray paper covers sewn with dark red thread; embossed title "Deckle Photones" on front cover, within an embossed wreath.

Spec. Coll. copy: In modern beige cloth clamshell box with velcro closure.
Abstract: Album of photographs (12 x 19 cm or smaller, some cropped) taken in Mexico, probably between 1883 and 1900.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Jordan Antiquarian Books, 2008.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Photograph album of Mexico (Collection 94/320). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


Includes photographs from "Vistas mexicanas" and "Tipos mexicanos," two series published by the French photographer Abel Briquet during the 1880s. His signature is visible on three of the photographs, and may have been cropped from others. Briquet worked in Paris beginning in the 1850s, and in 1883, arrived in Mexico, commissioned to photograph the rail line between Veracruz and Mexico City, and the port of Veracruz. Nine photographs, all views of Guanajuato, are inscribed on verso: "Compliments of Harvey Tin Mine", and signed "G[eorge] W. McElhiney." McElhiney, an American businessman and mine owner, was instrumental in creating the Guanajuato Power and Electric Company which allowed for the successful development of the mining industry around Guanajuato. The many views of Guanajuato in the album, including scenes of local mining operations, and the Presa La Esperanza, a dam for generating electrical power completed in 1893, suggest that the album may possibly have been compiled as a souvenir for businessmen or potential mining investors visiting the Guanajuato area.

Scope and Content

The professional views include Aztec museum artifacts; cityscapes of Guanajuato, Mexico City, and other towns, and the volcano Popocatepetl; scenes of native peoples in their day-to-day activities, selling lumber, tending pulque plants, and plowing fields. Three photographs document the cultivation and harvesting of coffee on plantations in Veracruz, including the drying and decortication of the beans. Of special interest are a photograph of standing mummies in the catacombs of Guanajuato; the old granary building in Guanajuato, Alhóndiga de Granaditas, captured by Hidalgo's insurgent troops in Sept. 1810, and from whose four corners the heads of the revolutionary leaders were hung following their execution; and the entrance to the shaft of the La Valenciana silver mine, opened in 1760.
Antigüedades -- Pulque plants -- Statue of Chac-mool, Museum of Mexico -- No. 320. Fabricantes de mecal -- Orizaba, Mexico -- Volcanoe, Popocatepetl -- Mummies under the catacombs of Guanajuato, Old Mexico -- Decortication of coffee -- Coffee plants, Vera-Cruz -- Place to dry the coffee, Vera-Cruz -- Portales, Mexico -- The Viga Canal, Mexico -- [Men and boys standing with mules loaded with pottery] -- Labrador zapoteco -- A residence of Guanajuato -- Park, Mexico -- Cathedral, Mexico --- Water supply of Guanajuato, Old Mexico -- The Orizaba River -- Granaditas, now used as a prison, captured by Hidalgo, Sept. 28, 1810 -- Birds eye view of Guanjuato -- Old Valenciana Church, Mexico -- Water supply of Guanajuato -- Concentrating silver ore in the Guanajuato River -- Entrance to shaft opened in the 1760 in the famous Valenciana silver mine -- Lumber sellers, State of Mexico -- Prettiest theatre in the world at Guanajuato, Mexico -- A store in Tacubaya, environs of Mexico -- Castle of Chapultepec, Mexico -- View of Mexico -- Village in Mexico -- A street in Tacubaya, Mexico -- Guanajuato, Mexico -- Hotel Iturbide, Mexico.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Silver mines and mining --Mexico --La Valenciana --Photographs.
Hydroelectric power plants --Mexico --Guanajuato --Photographs.
Coffee --Processing --Mexico --Veracruz-Llave (State) --Photographs.
Guanajuato (Mexico) --Photographs.
Mexico City (Mexico) --Photographs.
Mexico --Photographs.
Veracruz-Llave (Mexico : State) --Photographs.

Genres and Forms of Material

Albumen photoprints --Mexico --1883-1900.
Photographs --Mexico --1883-1900.
Photograph albums.

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Briquet, Abel.
McElhiney, G.W. (George W.), fl. 1893-1903.
Harvey Tin Mine (Guanajuato, Mexico)
Deckle Photones.

Related Material

Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.