Category Archives: Photograph Collection

Harry C. Mann Panoramic Photograph Collection

C1: 159
ca.1910–1917
58 panoramas


C1:159  Harry C. Mann Panoramic Photograph Collection  (LVA 08_0911_001)

A companion to our larger Harry C. Mann Photograph Collection, this digitized set of 58 panoramic images of Norfolk and Virginia Beach provide a sense of scale (often epic) for collective human activities in environments specific to those activities. Included are early-twentieth-century panoramic views of Virginia Beach First Baptist Church, the Chautauqua Building, O’Keefe’s Casino, Norfolk’s Miller & Rhoads department store on Plum Street, McKendree Methodist Church, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Norfolk Harbor, Willoughby Spit, Elizabeth City, and Glenwood Park.


C1:159  Harry C. Mann Panoramic Photograph Collection  (LVA 08_0911_025)

Arrangement and access:
The original negatives are part of the collection at Norfolk Public Library.

References:
Norfolk Public Library Newsletter, vol. 2, no. 3 (Spring 2008)

Related resources and collections:
Harry C. Mann Photograph Collection, C1: 008

C1:159  Harry C. Mann Panoramic Photograph Collection  (LVA 08_0911_021)more

Hampton Institute Photograph Album

C1: 134
ca. 1880–1890
1 album, 32 cyanotypes


C1:134  Hampton Institute Photograph Album  (LVA 10_1354_003)

In Hampton Roads, Virginia, 1868, the Union general and educator Samuel Armstrong (1839–1893) opened Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute on the grounds of a former slave-holding plantation, with the stated purpose of “train[ing] selected Negro youth who should go out and teach and lead their people first by example… to replace stupid drudgery with skilled hands, and in this way to build up an industrial system for the sake not only of self-support and intelligent labor, but also for the sake of character.” The institute (today Hampton University) received its first Native American students, refugees from the Red River War, in 1878.  Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, the date of these cyanotype images, the institute saw a dramatic increase in enrollment and course offerings, emphasizing not classical studies but practical experience in trades and industry, such as carpentry, clock making, printing, tailoring, bricklaying, and, of course, farming, as well as rigorous classes in mathematics and the sciences. 

The cyanotypes suggest an artistic sensibility at work on the campus. All images appear to have been taken by the same photographer, probably a member of a student photography club, among which cyanotypes were popular because they were inexpensive and relatively easy to process. Imposing exterior shots of college buildings, most notably Memorial Church and Virginia-Cleveland Hall, contrast with more delicate images of dogwood blossoms, sailboats in the harbor, and … more

Virginia State Chamber of Commerce Photograph Collection

C1:161
1922–1972
approx. 30,000 8 x 10 inch photographic prints 


C1:161  Virginia State Chamber of Commerce Photograph Collection.  Virginia Beach Sand Festival, 1952  (vcc_014973)

One of the Library’s most important image collections, the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce Photograph Collection is one of the most organized and comprehensive visual resources for twentieth-century Virginia history and culture. Think of it as the official photo album of the commonwealth of Virginia, documenting activity associated with cotton, peanut, textile, tobacco, and fishing industries; farming and harvesting; government; public and higher education; the arts; recreation and entertainment; and countless local festivals for the fifty years between 1922 and 1972. In its subjects the collection resembles (and is indeed the source for) many of the images in our 1939 World’s Fair Photograph Collection (C1:001), also produced by the Chamber of Commerce. Highlights include, but are by no means limited to, photographic coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1957 visit to Jamestown, the restoration/re-creation of Colonial Williamsburg, historical reenactments, and areal photos. Images are generally of high quality and upbeat in mood and tone—not at all photojournalistic, but nevertheless capturing fascinating details of locale, transportation, décor, and clothing. The item numbers by which the collection is arranged also reflect the images’ chronology. 

Arrangement and access:
A significant portion of the collection is available through the Library’s online collections searchable by keyword and date.  The photographs are also searchable by subject using the collection’s original card index.

Provenance:
Donated, 1974

Related resources and collections:
1939 World’s Fair … more

Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection

C1: 162
ca.1909–1979
approx. 1,360 glass-plate and film negatives 


C1:162  Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection.  Thomas Rose, October 4, 1945  (vdlp_suffolk_ng0156)

The Hamblin Studio Collection represents the collective output of four Suffolk photographers working throughout the 20th century. Their photos represents a variety of subjects, including portraiture, sporting events, fraternal organizations, medical facilities, public utilities, local unions, manufacturing plants (in particular Planters Peanuts), and schools, including black private schools and segregated and integrated public schools. As well as being a good general portrait of 20th-century Virginia, the Hamblin Studio Collection is an excellent documentary resource for African American community life in Suffolk. 

Note: The collection includes images from the city of Nansemond prior to 1974, when it merged with the independent city of Suffolk. 

Arrangement and access:
The entire collection is available through the Library’s online collections searchable by keyword and date. 

Related resources and collections:
C1: 163 Hamblin Studio Service Station Photograph Collection

more

Stereograph File

C1: 060
1860s–1910s
approx. 318 stereographs (most albumen) and other photographic prints mounted on 4 x 7 inch cards 


C1:060  Stereograph File.  Building spire of Lutheran Church, Winchester, Va.  (LVA 07_0786_329)

Stereographic views were a popular nineteenth-century novelty that enabled photographs to be viewed in three dimensions. What appear to be identical photographic images paired adjacently on a cardboard support are actually slightly different and, when viewed through the lenses of a stereoscope, they “merge” to yield an unexpectedly convincing 3D effect. The Library’s Stereograph Collection contains over 300 images from many prominent photographers from the Civil War to the World War I eras. Photographs and publishers represented in the collection include the Keystone View Co., George S. Cook, Lee Gallery, D. H. Anderson, E. S. Lumpkin, Underwood & Underwood, George Ennis, Selden & Co., the Kilburn Bros., and Timothy O’Sullivan. Most of the images offer views of Richmond and other Virginia locales, such as the Old Stone House (now the Poe Museum), interiors of Washington’s Tomb, Salt Point, the Executive Mansion and Capitol Grounds (including the long-vanished wrought iron gazebo that housed the statue of Henry Clay), Monumental Church, and Libby Prison. There are also several rare photographs of Blue Ridge Springs and other long-defunct Virginia resorts, as well as a one-of-a-kind series of homemade stereographs with views of late- nineteenth-century Petersburg. 

Arrangement and access:
The collection is available for view on Digitool.

Provenance:
Varied 

more

Virginia Legislature Photograph Collection

C1: 169
1857–ongoing
average size 11 x 15 inches 


C1:169  Virginia Legislature Photograph Collection  (LVA  09_0669_014_1940)

The state’s bicameral legislature, consisting of the House of Delegates and the Senate, was confirmed in the Virginia Constitution of 1776, but can trace its lineage directly to the 1619 Jamestown House of Burgesses, making it effectively the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. The present Virginia Constitution requires that the House consist of 90–100 members and the Senate of 33–40 members. Arranged chronologically, the Virginia Legislature Photograph Collection contains annual composite portraits of the General Assembly, beginning near the advent of photography in 1857, which are primarily the work of Richmond’s Foster Studio, and later Dementi Studio. 09_0638_001_1871-1872The rosters witness the emergence of women, and the re-emergence of black Virginians, in the realm of state policymaking.  Although not every year is represented in the collection, in many cases the rosters feature the only known photographs of early Virginia lawmakers. 

Arrangement and access:
The entire collection is available on DigiToolmore

Carneal & Johnston Negative Collection

C1: 143 
ca. 1908–1924
194 glass-plate negatives, 21 film negatives


C1:143   Presentation drawing of Colonial Theater at 714 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. Signed Hughson Hawley, 1919.   Carneal & Johnston Negative Collection  (LVA 10_0038_cj_162)

Architects William Leigh Carneal Jr. (1881–1958) and James Markam Ambler Johnston (1885–1974) founded their firm about 1908, after a year working independently but sharing office space in Richmond. Carneal & Johnston went on to become one of the most prolific and long-lived architectural practices in the state, by 1950 having shaped the distinctive architectural character of central Virginia, especially Richmond, with the completion of more than 1,300 buildings. The architects worked on a wide range of project types, from the mundane to the monumental, suburban bungalows to a proposed but never realized Ninth Street Victory Arch.

Amassed by the firm for documentary and promotional purposes, the Carneal & Johnston Collection photographically captures interior and exterior views of many commercial and municipal buildings, bridges, factories, apartments, and private residences, and includes a number of concept drawings entered into architectural competitions. Some of the most notable and easily recognizable structures represented in the collection include the First Virginia Regiment Armory (1913), the Richmond Dairy (1914) with its colossal milk bottles, the Colonial Theater (1919–1920), the Virginia State Office Building (1922–1923), and many collegiate gothic structures on the campuses of Richmond College (now the University of Richmond) and the Virginia Military Institute.

Arrangement and access:
The entire collection is available through DigiTool. The firm’s original numbering scheme has been maintained, though its rationale seems neither strictly chronological … more

Real Photo Postcard Collection of Virginia Railroad Depots

C1: 061
 ca. 1900–1990s, bulk 1930s-1960s
124 postcards

What makes this collection unique is its focus on the depots of smaller cities, towns, and whistle-stops of rural Virginia, rather than the palatial rail hubs of major cities, such as Richmond’s Main Street Station, of which there is already an abundant visual account. The images date from the very early twentieth century to the mid-1970s, with some images from as late as the 1990s. Almost all the images were daytime shots and practically none document human activity or presence. Instead they focus on the architectural qualities of the depots themselves, significantly without regard to any depot’s ostensible architectural importance. Indeed, the passenger shelter in Ashcake, Virginia, looks to be a tiny shack overtaken by shrubbery. Williamsburg’s looks more like a faux-colonial bank than a depot, and Danville’s is an aluminum modular building. Most of the depots featured, however, are in the more familiar “cottage” style. 

C1:061  Real Photo Postcard Collection of Virginia Railroad Depots  (LVA 11_1148_011)

Arrangement and access:
Alphabetically by location

Provenance:
Purchased 1997 

Related resources and collections:
Postcard Collection
Prince Railroad Collection

more

Byllesby Dam Photograph Collection

C1: 129
ca. 1911–1912
2 albums, 7 x 11 and 9 x 11 inches, 200 photographs, along with 66 modern copy photographs from albums belonging to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources


C1:129  Byllesby Dam Photograph Collection  (LVA 11_1148_019)

In the early twentieth century, the Appalachian Power Company built a series of hydroelectric dams on the New River in Carroll County, Virginia. Completed in 1912, the Byllesby Dam took its name from H. M. Byllesby and Company, a Chicago investment firm that helped start Appalachian Power, and it created the serene 335-acre Byllesby Reservoir still popular with local fishermen and recreational boaters.

The photographs in this collection document the phases of the dam’s construction and the building methods of the period, with interior shots of the transformer house and its giant turbines and wide-angle exterior views of the dam and cement-mixing plant with its and volute casing and draft tube forms, like abstract sculptures in the wilderness, awaiting cement. As significantly, the photographs capture the daily lives of the workers who made their home in the camp, with images of black-papered dormitories for engineers and office staff, tidy vegetable gardens growing beneath power lines, a pair of well-dressed women on horseback (on the same horse), candid shots of “natives” (locals), and various shots of workers at rest and play and gathered around a campfire at night. The collection also includes two commercially produced scenic postcards of the completed dam and an original … more

Virginia State Penitentiary Photograph Collection

C1: 151
1991
approx. 270 Kodak prints with negatives

Receiving its first prisoners in 1800, the Virginia State Penitentiary in Richmond had by the 1980s, through a series of radical redesigns, grown from architect Benjamin Latrobe’s elegant horseshoe-shaped loggia on the banks of the James to an enormous modern complex of cellblocks and administrative buildings, mostly constructed with inmate labor, and partly from the brick and stone of Latrobe’s original horseshoe, itself fallen into disuse and razed in 1928.


C1:151  Virginia State Penitentiary Photograph Collection

In 1991, with the inmate population decentralized and relocated to various facilities throughout the state, and the penitentiary buildings themselves doomed to obsolescence, the Virginia Film Office sent photographers to survey the complex as a potential movie location. While ultimately no movies were filmed in “the Pen,” the photographers did gather the most comprehensive and intimate visual account of the penitentiary made near the end of its long life cycle, a year before its demolition by the state. The exterior and interior photos are rich in detail and include views of the dining hall, the chapel, and the infirmary with its distinctive green-and-white checkered floor, as well as glimpses along the inner lengths of the tiered cellblocks, various furniture, lamps, and other unexpected details of life behind bars, such as houseplants and an umbrella casually hung by its handle on an open door. One long panorama, composed of five separate snapshots, captures the penitentiary’s high-walled athletic … more