Matthew Brady, John C. Calhoun in the U.S. Capitol, March 1849. Full-plate daguerreotype, approx. 21.5 x 16.2 cm. Henry Elias Howland Daguerreotype Collection, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Gen Mss 243, Folder 7.
Matthew Brady; Desire Charnay; Alexander Gardner; Levin Corbin Handy; Lorry Salcedo-Mitrani; Ricardo Villalba
The collection supports research, teaching, and learning about the history and culture of the Americas in general and the evolution of photography as a social, cultural, and economic institution, particularly but not exclusively in the United States.
The Beinecke’s general collections of Americana are particularly strong in material documenting the early history of photography in the United States and Latin America. They include daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and extensive collections of albumen prints and photographically illustrated books intended for distribution nationally and internationally. Additional photographs can be found in collections of family papers that often span the 19th century. There are significant collections of snapshot photography from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, often in the form of personal or family photographic albums.
The collection of early photographically illustrated books is extensive. The Brady-Handy archival collection provides a rare window into the operations of one of the most important photographic studios in the United States in the 19th century. Although small, our collection of daguerreotypes features significant images of important public figures.