Tintypes and Portraits Collection
Unidentified man, n.d. Tintypes and Portraits Collection. Special Collections, SBU
The photographer and original owner are unknown.
This collection was donated by Leighton Coleman III in 2005.
Scope, and Content Note
The collection is comprised of 3 linear inches of tintypes portraits primarily of
unidentified African Americans produced circa 1860s-1880s.
Arrangement and Processing Note
Processing completed in December 2005. Updated August 2019.
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.
Rights and Permissions
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection
does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole
responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials
to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission
where needed prior to publication.
[Item], [Box], Tintype and Portraits Collection, Special Collections and University
Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.
Introduced in the mid-19th century, tintypes are positive photographs produced when
a nitrocellulose solution is applied to a thin enamelled black iron plate immediately
prior to exposure. The tin-type is actually negative in its chemical formation, but
is made to appear positive by the black plate. Tintype portraits were identical to
daguerreotypes, as they were of the same standard sizes, and they were enclosed in
the same type of case. They did not approach the brilliancy of daguerreotypes, however.
By the 1860s the elaborate presentation of tintypes had been abandoned, and the metal
sheets were simply inserted in paper envelopes, each with a cutout window the size
of the image. Tintypes were regarded as folk art through the 19th century and were
often used by sidewalk portrait artists at parks, fairs, and beaches. (Source: Encyclopedia
African Americans -- Photographs.
African Americans -- Portraits.
Men -- Portraits.
Women -- Portraits.
Children -- Portraits.
Infants -- Portraits.