January 18, 2022

Yale’s Beinecke Library and Library of Congress Acquire Lincoln and Civil War Photo Collections

Two reports in this post.

1. Yale Acquiring Unmatched Collection of 19th-Century American Photography

Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery are acquiring the Meserve-Kunhardt Collection, one of the nation’s great photographic collections and the definitive assemblage.


Amassed by Frederick Hill Meserve (1865-1962) with the help of his daughter Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt (1900-1978), the collection contains more than 73,000 items, including 57,000 photographic prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides. These materials document American history from the Civil War through the end of the nineteenth century and record the emergence of photography as a distinctive cultural practice.


The acquisition was made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Rice Family Foundation. The collection is expected to come to Yale in the fall of 2015 and portions of it will be available for research by the summer of 2016. While the majority of the collection will be housed at the Beinecke Library, a selection of large-format, formal portraits and other images will become part of the Yale University Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

Read the Complete Announcement (via Beinecke Library)

See Also: Coverage from the NY Times

2.  A Grandmother’s Trove of Civil War Photos Goes to Library of Congress (via Washington Post)

Report includes video.

Snapshots from the era of the Civil War, they are among hundreds of rare images gathered over four decades by an 87-year-old Texas grandmother. Now, partly through a family tragedy, they are the property of the Library of Congress.

The library announced Friday that it has acquired more than 500 stunning images from the collection of Robin Stanford of Houston. They depict a United States marked by the scourges of war, slavery and assassination.


The library, which received the images in December, has many of them digitized and posted online. Eventually, all of them will be.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.