Yale Center for British Art
Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection

Naval woolwork, 1891, embroidered panel incorporating a tintype, wool and silk on linen backing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund.

Web address http://ycba.yale.edu/collections/coll_rb-m-index.html
Location1080 Chapel Street, New Haven
Access policyhttp://ycba.yale.edu/information/info_hours-dir.html
ContactElisabeth Fairman
Email addresselisabeth.fairman@yale.edu
Number of photographsApprox. 16,000
Date range1800s-present
Geographic coverage

United Kingdom; former British Empire


Henry Dixon; William Fox Talbot


Photographic materials included among the collections of the Center’s Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts are an integral part of the collection relating to the visual arts and cultural life in the United Kingdom and former British Empire from the 16th century to the present. The collection serves research, teaching, and exhibition needs.  It includes examples of all processes of printmaking techniques and photographs, as well as a number of viewing devices, such as stereoscopic slide viewers (for both glass and paper slides), camera lucidas, camera obscuras, and Claude glasses.


The printed collections include some of the earliest British books illustrated with original photographs (about 1840 to 1870). Contemporary artists’ books may also contain photographs. Manuscript and archival material include 19th century photography. Collections include scrapbooks, travel accounts, and family papers with photographs, postcards, and stereoscopic slides. For books, there are around 14,000 photographs in 400 volumes; for archives, about 2,000 photographs in 15 collections. Photographs are usually unique prints of significant historical and genealogical interest. Photographs in rare books often represent some of the earliest British books illustrated with original photographs.


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