Noah. Detail from Wells Cathedral
Unidentified Photographer, Noah Building the Ark, Niche Sculpture from the West Front, Wells Cathedral, ca. 1865-1885. Albumen print photograph. 15/5/3090.00758. Andrew Dickson White Architectural Photographs Collection, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Scope of the Collection
Other Donors

Professor Willard Fiske (1831-1904), the university’s first librarian, made substantial additions to the collection, particularly when he resided in Florence during the late 1880s and 1890s, and often in response to particular requests from Professor Charles Babcock, the first (and for many years, the only) professor of architecture at Cornell. Babcock himself and other members of the College of Architecture faculty added images in later years, particularly expanding the collection to include modern, Renaissance and Baroque subjects. Students of architecture and their families contributed funds and photographs to the collection in the early part of the twentieth century, most notably through the Charles Beckwith Brown Memorial Fund.

American architecture is well represented by photographs of colonial architecture as well as of buildings designed by Richard Morris Hunt, Louis Sullivan, Holabird & Roche, Frank Lloyd Wright, Solon Beman, and the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury. About 75% of the American collection (or approximately 250 photographs) has been digitized and is available over the internet through the A. D. White Architectural Photographs Collection image browser.


Some notable subsets and highlights of the collection include

• 3 albums featuring views of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Jerusalem, by the Maison Bonfils, ca. 1885
• 6 views of the Acropolis by William James Stillman, an associate of A. D. White’s, 1869 (albumen prints that White probably purchased from Stillman during White’s 1889 visit to Athens). The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections also owns Stillman’s portfolio, The Acropolis of Athens (London, 1870), which contains twenty-five carbon prints.
• Approximately 500 photographs of sites in France produced by Médéric Mieusement for the French government’s Commission des Monuments Historiques, ca. 1874-ca. 1890
• 50 photographs of plaster casts in the Royal Architectural Museum in London (now part of the plaster cast collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum), taken by Henry Bedford Lemere (British, 1840-ca. 1911), ca. 1874.
• Approximately 2,500 views of Italian structures and cities, including an extensive collection of Venetian vedute by the photographer Carlo Naya
• A portfolio of approximately 200 photogravures by Édouard Baldus, Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries, 1869-1871, featuring interior and exterior details
• Photographs of competition drawings by fellows of the American Academy in Rome, ca. 1915-1940
118 albums of views of Beaux-Arts architecture and decorative arts purchased in 1901 with funds given in memory of Clifton Beckwith-Brown, a student in Cornell University’s College of Architecture who was killed in action during the Spanish-American War
• A set of views of the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, and another of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, California
• A series depicting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collections of decorative arts in period rooms, ca. 1925

The A. D. White Project is funded by a grant from the
Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
and by a gift from Mr. Patrick A. Gerschel.

The participation of the Cornell Insititute for Digital Collections
has been funded by a gift from Mr. Arthur Penn.

For information about copyright issues and securing permission to publish digital reproductions of images from the A. D. White Architectural Photographs Collection, please consult our Copyright & Permissions Page

Inquiries about the A. D. White Architectural Photographs Collection or information on this page

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