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Joseph Armstrong Baird Collection of 19th-century architectural photographs, ca. 1860-1931, undated

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Baird (Joseph Armstrong) collection

Scope and Content of Collection

Assembled over a forty-year period by Joseph Armstrong Baird, Jr., the collection contains approximately 1,663 photographs of architecture and urban views. Most of the photographs date from the late nineteenth-century, although a few are early twentieth-century prints.

The collection spans several continents and numerous countries, although the majority of the photographs depict buildings and cities in Europe, especially in the countries of Italy, France, Germany, and Great Britain. Other European countries represented include: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Greece, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also present are views of Africa: Algeria, Egypt, and South Africa; Asia: China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, and Turkey; Middle East: Jordan; Lebanon; and Syria; and North America: Mexico and Hawaii.

Subject matter includes exterior and interior views of religious buildings, palaces, government buildings, and theaters, as well as panoramas of towns and cities and views of streets and plazas. Panoramas of cities and towns are also present. International expositions and the Paris Commune are among other subjects documented in the collection.

The photographs, most of which are albumen prints, were primarily taken by professional photographic studios and include such makers as Fratelli Alinari; Fratelli Amodio; F. and O. Brockmann; Fraincis Frith; the London Stereoscopic Company; Neurdein frères; Photoglob Co.; Sébah and Joallier; Giorgio Sommer; James Valentine; and George Washington Wilson. Many of the photographs are annotated, some by Baird.

The collection is arranged in five series, by photographic format: Series I. Photographs of Europe, ca. 1860-ca. 1920; Series II Oversize photographs, ca. 1860-ca. 1920; Series III Disbound album leaves, ca. 1860-ca. 1920; Series IV Photograph albums, ca. 1870-ca. 1931, undated; and Series V Travel booklets, 1877-1911, undated.

Arrangement note

Arranged in 5 series:
Series I. Photographs of Europe, ca. 1860-ca. 1920;
Series II Oversize photographs, ca. 1860-ca. 1920;
Series III Disbound album leaves, ca. 1860-ca. 1920;
Series IV Photograph albums, ca. 1870-ca. 1931, undated;
Series V Travel booklets, 1877-1911, undated.

Series I and II descriptions include some or all of the following information for photographs:

Cutter Number: The material is organized by Cutter Number and is first divided by continent (Africa, Asia, Europe), and then by country (Algeria, Egypt, South Africa), according to modern English place names. Within a country items are organized alphabetically by city/site. The last part of the Cutter number is the item number within the country. These numbers refer to items or sheets and not always individual photographs; some items contain several photographs. Example: E85. G3.56 = Europe, Germany, item 56.

Physical Description: This line is included after the Cutter number when the item contains more than one photograph or image. Example: Loose album leaf with 3 photographs.

Caption: Captions enclosed in quotation marks are handwritten captions. Otherwise, captions are printed on front or back of photographs. An ellipsis […] after a caption indicates a lengthy description of the site. Information enclosed in brackets is from the cataloguer. If the caption does not clearly indicate the country, site, and subject, this information is indicated in brackets. A brief description may also be included.

Negative Number: A number enclosed in quotation marks indicates a handwritten negative or collection number. Negative numbers, where they exist, are printed on the front or back of photograph; in some instances a negative or collection number is handwritten on the photograph.

Process: Most of the photographs in series I and II are albumen prints. This line appears only to indicate a process other than albumen.

Size: Size units are centimeters, height x width.

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