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Collection Number: P0007

Collection Title: Ambrotype Collection, circa 1852-1880

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


Image from the collection

Ambrotype portrait of Bryan Grimes (1828-1880), a member of 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment P0007/0014, in the Ambrotype Collection (P0007), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 22 encased images
Abstract Ambrotypes were in production from the early 1850s into the early 1880s. This photographic format replaced earlier methods and quickly became extremely popular due to the lowered cost of processing, relative ease of development, and the superior images produced by the process. The resulting images were encased and had a reputation for being more durable than previous formats. The Ambrotype Collection contains 22 images taken of individuals seated or standing for portraits, circa 1852-1880. Individuals appearing in the images have been identified whenever possible. Known individuals are listed as subject access points, as are identified locations. All of the images are encased. Included are an image of North Carolina Black Muslim slave Omar Ibn Said; members of the Marford, and Myers families; a slave owned by the Marford family; Harris and Umstead family members; students at Wesleyan Female Institute in Murfreesboro, N.C., from the 1850s; and Civil War-era images of General Bryan Grimes of the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, members of the "Iredell Blues," and Meshack F. Hunt of the 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
The items in this collection are extremely fragile due to their age, the materials used to make them, and the fact that they are all unique originals. Ambrotypes have no equivalent of a negative and cannot be physically reproduced. Researchers may be presented with a digital copy instead of original materials if the Photographic Archivist has determined the original should not be handled.
Restrictions to Use
No image in this collection may be reproduced without the permission and consent of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Restrictions to Use
These items are not covered by copyright and are in the public domain.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], Ambrotype Collection (P0007), year image was made [when known], North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.
Acquisitions Information
The items in this collection came to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives from a number of different and unrelated sources. Items in the first two boxes came to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives from the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection (1800-2000) in the Southern Historical Collection (#4090) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996. Items in the third box came to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives from the Williams Family Papers (1779-1948) in the Southern Historical Collection (#879) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996. Items in the remaining three boxes came to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives from unrelated donors.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

Ambrotypes were produced using an early photographic format originally developed in England by Frederick Scott Archer in 1852. In 1854 the format was patented in the United States by James Ambrose Cutting. The format replaced daguerreotypes due to the relative ease with which they could be developed and the superiority of the images produced by the process. At the base is a piece of glass that is coated with an iodized collodion solution that is then coated with a light sensitive silver solution. The plate is then exposed to light, via a camera, and the image (negative) becomes visible after further processing. The back of the exposed/developed glass plate is covered with a black covering (paper, paint, or cloth) and then encased with a piece of glass on the front. This format was in use around the world from 1852 into the early 1880s.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Collection contains 22 images taken of individuals seated or standing for portraits, circa 1852-1880. Individuals appearing in the images have been identified whenever possible. Known individuals are listed as subject access points, as are identified locations. All of the ambrotypes are encased. Included are an image of North Carolina Black Muslim slave Omar Ibn Said; members of the Marford, and Myers families; a slave owned by the Marford family; Harris and Umstead family members; students at Wesleyan Female Institute in Murfreesboro, N.C., from the 1850s; and Civil War-era images of General Bryan Grimes of the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, members of the "Iredell Blues," and Meshack F. Hunt of the 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880.

6 encased ambrotypes.

Arrangement: Accession number.

Includes an image of North Carolina Black Muslim slave Omar Ibn Said and various unidentified men and women.

Special Format Box 1

Special Format Image P0007/0001

Unidentified man (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 1, Sfimage P0007/0001

1 encased image

Accession number: 22503.

Special Format Box 1

Special Format Image P0007/0002

Unidentified woman (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 1, Sfimage P0007/0002

1 encased image

Accession number: 22504.

Special Format Box 1

Special Format Image P0007/0003

Unidentified man (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 1, Sfimage P0007/0003

1 encased image

Accession number: 22505.

Special Format Box 1

Special Format Image P0007/0004

Unidentified man and woman (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 1, Sfimage P0007/0004

1 encased image

Accession number: 22506; Two separate portraits encased together.

Special Format Box 2

Special Format Image P0007/0005

Unidentified man, circa 1852-1880 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 2, Sfimage P0007/0005

1 encased image

Accession number: 22508.

Special Format Box 2

Special Format Image P0007/0006

Omar Ibn Said (1770?- 1864?) (portrait), circa 1855 #P0007, Series: "1. Ambrotypes: From the Miscellaneous Pictures Collection, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 2, Sfimage P0007/0006

1 encased image

This item is on loan until November 2011: See digital copy; Accession number: 22509.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Ambrotypes: From the Harris Family Papers, circa 1852-1880.

4 encased ambrotypes.

Arrangement: Accession number.

Includes images of some Harris and Umstead family members.

Special Format Box 3

Special Format Image P0007/0007

William Harris (1809-1891) (portrait), circa 1859 #P0007, Series: "2. Ambrotypes: From the Harris Family Papers, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 3, Sfimage P0007/0007

1 encased image and 1 copy negative

Accession number: 30534-1.

Special Format Box 3

Special Format Image P0007/0008

Archer Love Harris (1835-1855) (portrait), circa 1852-1855 #P0007, Series: "2. Ambrotypes: From the Harris Family Papers, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 3, Sfimage P0007/0008

1 encased image and 1 copy negative

Accession number: 30534-2.

Special Format Box 3

Special Format Image P0007/0009

Emmeline Temperance Harris Umstead (1839-1871) (portrait), circa 1852-1871 #P0007, Series: "2. Ambrotypes: From the Harris Family Papers, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 3, Sfimage P0007/0009

1 encased image and 1 copy negative

Accession number: 30534-3.

Special Format Box 3

Special Format Image P0007/0010

Parthenia Francis Duty Harris (1821-1852) (portrait), circa 1852 #P0007, Series: "2. Ambrotypes: From the Harris Family Papers, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 3, Sfimage P0007/0010

1 encased image and 1 copy negative

Accession number: 30534-4.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880.

6 encased ambrotypes.

Arrangement: Accession number.

Includes an image of students at Wesleyan Female Institute in Murfreesboro, N.C., from the 1850s and Civil War-era images of General Bryan Grimes of the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, members of the "Iredell Blues", and Meshack F. Hunt of the 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

Special Format Box 4

Special Format Image P0007/0011

Unidentified man in stove pipe hat (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 4, Sfimage P0007/0011

1 encased image

Accession number: 26275.

Special Format Box 4

Special Format Image P0007/0012

Graduating Class of Wesleyan Female Institute (Murfreesboro, N.C.), circa 1854 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 4, Sfimage P0007/0012

1 encased image

Accession number: 30160.

Special Format Box 4

Special Format Image P0007/0013

Unidentified woman, circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 4, Sfimage P0007/0013

1 encased image

Accession number: 30772.

Special Format Box 4

Special Format Image P0007/0014

Bryan Grimes (1828-1880) (portrait), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 4, Sfimage P0007/0014

1 encased image

Accession number: None ; Grimes was member of 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

Special Format Box 5

Special Format Image P0007/0015

Group portrait of the "Iredell Blues" in Statesville, N.C., circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 5, Sfimage P0007/0015

1 encased image and 1 copy print

Accession number: 30596_0001.

Special Format Box 6

Special Format Image P0007/0016

Meshack F. Hunt (b. 1840?), circa 1860 #P0007, Series: "3. Ambrotypes: Various Donors, circa 1852-1880." Sfbox 6, Sfimage P0007/0016

1 encased image, 1 copy print, 1 color 35mm slide

Accession number: 30596_0002; Meshack was a member of 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Company E.

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Processing Information

Processed by: North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, 1997 and 2010

Encoded by: Patrick Cullom, December 2010

Donors have been identified when known, and materials received from the same donor have been grouped together.

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