Scope and Contents
This collection includes photographs, prints, postcards, tintypes, albums, glass slides, lantern slides, daguerreotypes, and cased photographs of various subjects. These images are arranged alphabetically when possible and by subject. The first series contains portraits of American Quakers, the second series portraits of British Quakers. Series III includes images of Quaker groups, both of individuals in groups and of organizations. Series IV contains images relating to Native American missions run by the Society of Friends. Series V contains portraits of international Quakers, while Series VI is general images of Quakers and Quaker dress. Series VII contains portraits and images with non-Quaker subjects. Images of places make up Series VIII; these have an international span although they generally are of locations in the northeastern United States. Tintypes, an early type of photograph made on thin sheets of metal, which only include images of an unidentified Quaker woman, are Series IX. Series X contains miscellaneous and unidentified portraits, which are either unlabeled or include minimal background information to their subject. These are arranged alphabetically by location of the photographer, with entirely unlabeled portraits in a separate folder, and a folder for Civil War portraits. Series XI contains oversized images, including place images, portraits, and Native American subjects. Series XII contains photo albums, most of which were either owned by American Quakers, such as the Taylors, Greenes, and Copes, or contain photos of American Quaker families. Series XIII is glass slides, while Series XIV is lantern slides; both show images of Haverford College and portraits of Quakers. The final series is composed of daguerreotypes and cased photographs, largely consisting of portraits of American Quakers.
This collection contains an expansive range of subjects, with historical highlights including portraits of a wide variety of Quakers, Quaker Native American missions, the early years of Haverford College, and the rise of photography. Photography as a relatively cheap and accessible form of portraiture prompted a change in Quaker attitudes regarding portraiture, which previously was looked down on as a costly and time consuming act of vanity. Instead of commissioning paintings or drawings of themselves, some Quakers would have their silhouettes outlined from a shadow casting. The ease and low cost of photography as opposed to painted portraits created a greater acceptance of portraiture in the Quaker community.