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Tintypes and Portraits Collection

Tintype Portrait Unidentified man, n.d. Tintypes and Portraits Collection. Special Collections, SBU Libraries.

Collection Number
SC 341

OCLC Number

The photographer and original owner are unknown.

This collection was donated by Leighton Coleman III in 2005.

Extent, 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.

Historical Note
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 Britannica) 

Tintype -- Specimens.
Portraits -- Specimens.
African Americans -- Photographs.
African Americans -- Portraits.
African Americans.
Portrait photography.
Men -- Portraits.
Women -- Portraits.
Children -- Portraits.
Infants -- Portraits.