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The Matthew R. Isenburg collection: the dissemination of information on a private photographic collection, 1972 ‐ 2012

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posted on 2021-05-22, 13:06 authored by Heather Courtney
This thesis examines how the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection of nineteenth‐century photography and photographica, assembled between 1972 and 2012, was used by researchers, scholars, and photography‐enthusiasts, and how information about it was disseminated to the public, prior to its sale to the Archive of Modern Conflict, Toronto, in 2012. The private collection focused on five areas from early photography (1830s – 1860s): the Southworth & Hawes photography studio (Boston, 1843 – 1863), images of and information about the California Gold Rush (1848 – 1855), photographic technology (including cameras, lenses, and studio equipment), daguerreotype and ambrotype cases, and nineteenth-­‐century literature (featuring technical manuals and sales catalogues). This thesis features a literature survey, documentation of how Isenburg displayed his collection within his home, a description of the experience of visiting his collection, an annotated bibliography of publications that feature the collection, and an analytical chapter describing how the reputation of the collector and collection evolved.



Master of Arts


Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type