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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.


Michigan School photograph album, [ca. 1885]

1 volume

The Michigan School photograph album contains studio portraits of unidentified men, women, and children taken mostly in Central and Southeast Michigan in the late 19th century, as well as two pictures of school buildings, at least one of which is from the campus of Michigan Agricultural College. The album contents are possibly a mixture of students and professors of M.A.C. plus family and friends of the unknown compiler.

The Michigan School photograph album (27cm x 21cm) contains 54 studio portraits of unidentified men, women, and children taken in Michigan cities such as Albion, Ann Arbor, Jackson, and Lansing in the late 19th century. The photographs are comprised of 40 cabinet cards and similarly sized card photographs, 11 cartes-de-visite, and 3 tintypes. Four pages from a different album (containing seven photographs) are laid into the volume, as is a photograph of an infant. Most of the images are individual portraits of adult men and women. Two images by a Lansing Michigan photographer are of school buildings, one identified as Michigan Agricultural College. A floral design is printed directly onto each page, and one cabinet card is designed to look as though the print is peeling off of the mount. A pink ribbon with the letters "Q," "L," and "S" attached to it is laid into the album. The volume's padded covers are wrapped in red cloth with a floral design imprinted on the front. A hard surface with the title "Album" is attached to the front cover.