The John and Jane Adams Photograph Collection documents the history of photography, including various photographic processes and formats, such as albumen prints, cyanotypes,
platinotypes, ambrotypes, gelatin silver prints, glass negatives, carte de visites, tin types, cabinet cards, and more. In
addition, the collection also illustrates the evolution of photographic subject matter and studio advertising. Highlights
include early daguerreotypes, an assortment of unique photo albums, and a wealth of studio advertisements from all over the
world dating from the mid nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. In some cases, this finding aid uses technical terminology
to describe the photographic processes and formats, but every effort was made to include laymen's terms as well. The collection
consists of portraits, landscapes, and travel photography, and is divided into four series based on format: Paper Prints (1850s-1946), Metal and Glass Plate Processes (c. 1840s-1890s), Glass Plate Negatives (1898), and Albums (1886-1946).
The first "photograph" was a paper-based photogenic drawing process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839. In 1841,
Talbot introduced the calotype, or salted paper print, which became the first two-step photographic process involving the
use of a negative. Albumen prints and cyanotypes were also popular mid-nineteenth century paper support processes. Other paper
prints include platinotypes, carbon prints, gum bichromate prints, collodion prints, gelatin silver prints, and more.
The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with
the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections
is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be
submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available
for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including
but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
This collection is open for research.