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A Medley of Memorabilia

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A Jefferson Photograph Album

This photograph album documents Jefferson College faculty and the Class of 1862, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Jefferson College was the parent institution of Jefferson Medical College, although the two institutions had very few administrative connections and officially went their separate ways in 1838.

Jefferson College Photograph Album

A Jefferson photograph album.

First introduced in 1860, photo albums such as this one had recessed pockets to hold card photographs or tintypes. The portraits within this album are cartes de visite photographs - a phrase taken from the French for calling cards. While approximately the same size (4 1/4" by 2 1/2") the photographs were rarely used as a calling card. Card photographs such as these consisted of a contact print mounted on board and then decorated. Often the mount contained information about the studio or photographer while the card owners would add captions to identify the individual. Cartes de visite and other sizes such as cabinet (4 1/2" by 6 1/4"), promenade (4" by 7") or boudoir (5 1/4" by 8 1/2") became the most popular form of portraiture in the nineteenth century.

This album is an example of the kind of photographic collections available in the Art/Photo Collection of the University Archives and Special Collections. Many of the images in the Art/Photo Collection have been digitized and placed online as part of the Philadelphia Historical Digital Image Library (PHDIL).