Boston Photographers Cited in 19th Century American Photographic Journals: A Bibliographic Database ©

Compiled & annotated by Ron Polito

This bibliographic database provides over 1800 annotated records referencing some 200 Boston photographers, stockdealers, and related topics cited in the major American photographic journals of the 19th century. The listing is hardly definitive; both the data gathering process and the fact that minor mentions or allusions to Boston photographers are not included make it incomplete. However, it is hoped the database can provide both a starting point for research and an incentive for others to provide additional information (and corrections) — more on this below in the document, Introduction to the Boston Photographer’s Database.

The database is provided in two formats, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel. The Access version facilitates deeper filtering and sorting of records, and also contains internal look-up tables for keyword abbreviations and the journals referenced; however, it is likely more individuals are familiar with and have access to Excel. Both versions are in a very basic format, with each record limited to one line wide. As such, the content of some fields may extend beyond the default field length; users will certainly modify the database to suit their individual preferences.

Once the user extracts the desired bibliographic citations, the first place to look for full copies is Gary Ewer’s impressive online database of photographic texts, graphics, and ephemera; Articles not in the Ewer database will be found in the microfilm series: History of Photography: Monographs & Periodicals (489 reels, Research Publications, Woodbridge, CT, 1980?-1982). Many libraries have all or part of this series in their collections or it may be possible to request them through inter-library loan. In the Boston area, the Boston Public Library and Boston University’s Mugar Library are two of the libraries holding this compilation.

Database Files

To access the database, click either the Access or Excel link below; most browsers will allow the file to be downloaded. It is suggested, however, that users print or at least skim the information in the introductory PDF documents, as they include:

  • description of the database fields, along with some limitations
  • glossary to keywords used
  • glossary to Journal abbreviations, the Journal’s publication history, and the dates actually searched
  • perhaps more important, some explanation of idiosyncrasies that may well frustrate users, especially with regard to search functions

Introduction to the Boston Photographers’ Database (PDF, 324kb)

Keywords Used in the Database (PDF, 38kb)

Abbreviations & Bibliographic Information for Journals Used (PDF, 53kb)

Boston Photographer’s Database – Access version (created in Access 2000, 728kb)

Boston Photographer’s Database – Excel version (created in Excel 2000, 570kb)