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David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, ca. 1845-1980

Approximately 113,000 photographs and 96 volumes

The David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography consists of over 100,000 images in a variety of formats including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, cabinet photographs, real photo postcards, stereographs, and mounted and unmounted paper prints. The collection is primarily made up of vernacular photographs of everyday life in Michigan taken by both professional and amateur photographers from the 1840s into the mid-twentieth century. In addition to supporting local history research, the collection has resources for the study of specific events and subjects. Included are images related to lumbering, mining, suburbanization; the industrialization of cities; travel and transportation; the impact of the automobile; the rise of middle-class leisure society; fashion and dress; ethnicity and race; the role of fraternal organizations in society; and the participation of photographers in business, domestic, and social life. The collection is only partially open for research.

The subject contents of different photographic format series within the Tinder collection vary, depending in part upon how each format was historically used, and the date range of that format's popularity. For example, cartes de visite and cased images are most often formal studio portraits, while stereographs are likely to be outdoor views. Cabinet photographs are frequently portraits, but often composed with less formality than the cartes de visite and cased images. The postcards and the mounted prints contain very diverse subjects. The photographers' file contains many important and rare images of photographers, their galleries, promotional images, and the activities of photographers in the field. See individual series descriptions in the Contents List below for more specific details.

Included throughout are images by both professional and amateur photographers, although those by professionals are extant in far greater numbers.


Sacandaga Turnpike and Bridge Company record book, 1814-1819

1 volume

The record book contains meeting minutes and financial records of a turnpike and bridge construction company in Schenectady, New York.

The Sacandaga Turnpike and Bridge Company record book contains 152 pages documenting the company's meetings and financial transactions. The front of the book comprises 134 pages of minutes of stockholders' meetings for the company, spanning 1814-1819. These record Board of Directors elections, leadership changes, contracts with clients, reports by surveyors, business brought up at meetings, and resolutions passed. The contracts, in particular, contain substantial information about road and bridge specifications, locations, and costs. They frequently provide details about the road width, arch, items to be dug up and removed, and the placement of wood "steppers." The minutes also record interactions and financial transactions with shareholders, the results of inspections, and the salaries of board officers (p. 127). At the back of the volume, 18 pages of receipts document the payments made to the treasurer after the completion of contracts. These cover the years 1814-1816.


Saratoga Prisoners of War collection, 1778

6 items

This collection is made up of correspondence regarding prisoners of war during the American Revolution, particularly members of the Convention Army. The letters address topics such as prisoners' injuries, parole, and labor.

This collection (6 items) is made up of correspondence regarding prisoners of war during the American Revolution, particularly members of the "Convention Army," made up of prisoners from the Battle of Saratoga. Several items refer to Major General William Heath and British Major General William Phillips. The letters pertain to passes, prisoners' treatment, parole, and a road-building project in Pennsylvania. See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for more information on each item.