Photograph Collection

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Archives and Manuscript Collections

Historic Photograph Collections
The approximately 12,000 photographs in the collection of the Longfellow National Historic Site represent an extraordinary visual record of multiple generations of the Longfellow, Appleton and Dana families.

The letters and journals of the various family members reveal their great interest in this new technology from the dawn of photography with the invention of the daguerreotype through the Kodak camera of the 1880s and beyond.

The collection includes daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, autotypes, tintypes, albumen prints (carte-de-viste, cabinet cards, and large format), cyanotypes, and gelatin silver prints.

Henry W. Longfellow was one of the most photographed people of the nineteenth century and the collection holds numerous images of him. The Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House was also extensively photographed because of its association with both George Washington and Longfellow.  

Charles Appleton Longfellow, son of Henry W. Longfellow, traveled extensively throughout the world from the 1860s into the 1890s. Everywhere he traveled Charley commissioned or purchased photographs. Of particular importance are the photographs from 1871-1874 of Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.

A large part of the collection depicts family members and friends, their travels, and famous people and places around the world.

Sioux Papoose
Sioux papoose
Eaton, Omaha


Felice Beato photograph (tinted)

c. 1860s

Some of the Photographers Represented
The following names are only a sampling of the hundreds of photographers represented in the collection working in the United States, Europe, Russia, India, Asia and elsewhere.

United States

  • Notman & Campbell
  • Black & Batchelder
  • Alexander Gardner
  • Matthew Brady
  • John Whipple
  • Carlton Watkins
  • Southworth and Hawes
  • J. W. Black & Co., Boston
  • Wyman & Co.
  • C. F. Sylvester, Boston
  • George K. Warren
  • J. M. Black, Boston
  • Bradying & Co. Newport
  • C. R. Savage, Pioneer Art Gallery, Salt Lake City
  • C. W. Carter, Salt Lake City
  • Eaton, Omaha
  • Jackson Bros., Omaha
  • Lamson, Portland, Maine
  • Sarony


  • Julia Margaret Cameron
  • V. Ballet
  • Salomon
  • A. Sorgato, Venice, Italy
  • Metcalf & Weldon
  • Choate, Dresden
  • Hermann Krone
  • G. Jagemann Eisenach
  • Le Jeune
  • G. Le Gray

India and Asia

  • Felice Beato
  • Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Ratenicz
  • Uyeno Hikoma
  • Uchida
  • Sang-Cheong
  • A. Fong
  • W. P. Floyd
  • Ye-Chung
  • W. Saunders
  • J. Duclos

Photograph Albums

Over sixty photograph albums from various family members' collections document friends, family members, and people and places from their travels. Of particular interest are the albums from the 1868-1869 Grand Tour of Europe when thirteen members of the Longfellow family traveled together. This tour was highly documented by the photographs they collected as well as by the journals they kept and the letters they wrote.


Stereograph image of Yosemite


Stereograph Collection

750 images were collected by family members as souvenirs of trips abroad or within the United States. Some are inscribed to Henry W. Longfellow.

Rachel Kearnan (nurse) with Alice Longfellow
c. 1851

Daguerreotype Collection

There are approximately thirty daguerreoptypes in this collection, most with the subjects identified. The earliest is of Richard Henry Dana Jr. taken in 1840. Most of the others are portraits of various groupings of the Longfellow families from Cambridge and Portland, Maine, including half-plates and quarter plates.


Charley Longfellow and Friends in Mexico
Charley Longfellow and friends

Maori Chief
New Zealand
c. 1861

Charles Appleton Longfellow Collection

Approximately 1700 photographs were purchased or commissioned by Charley Longfellow while traveling around the globe from the 1860s through 1892. His travel photographs include images from:

  • United States (1863-1866)
    • Civil War cartes-de-visite of both Union and Confederate generals as well as prisoners from Andersonville
    • Mt. Vernon, a cotton warehouse and slave cabins in Virginia and Alabama.
    • Photographs collected during his 1871 cross-country journey including images taken in Nebraska of Native Americans, and the unfinished Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • England and France (1866, 1880s)
  • Russia (1866-67)
  • India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir (1869)
  • France, Suez Canal, and Egypt (1870)
  • Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand (1871-1874)
  • Mexico (1875)
  • Japan and China (1885, 1892)
  • Europe (1866-1886)
  • New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Samoa and the South Sea Islands (1891)
  • Caribbean (1866-1867)
  • Bahamas (1886)


Vassall Craigie Longfellow House
Longfellow House
c. 1880

Photographs of the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House and Grounds

  • Over 100 images of the exterior of the house
  • Nearly 100 images of the interior of the house
  • Thirty-five images of the garden and grounds
  • 140 photographs from the 1960s rehabilitation of the Longfellow garden by the Cambridge Plant and Garden Club
  • Stereoscope with glass stereoviews (c. 1853)

Henry Longfellow by Julia Cameron
Henry W. Longfellow
by Julia M. Cameron

Isle of Wight, England

Photographs of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There are over 100 different images of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, many of which are documented in his letters and journals.

Some of these photographs were taken for book and article illustrations, or to assist a painter, sculptor, or engraver.

Longfellow Family at Niagara Falls
Longfellow Family at Niagara Falls
June 1862

Longfellow Family Photographs

This collection includes approximately 6500 photographs (1845-1950) .

The Longfellow family was widely photographed throughout their lives.

Images also include:

  • Servants, friends, and family pets
  • Amateur photographs by Alexander W. Longfellow Jr. and Mary King Longfellow
  • Art reproductions and travel photographs.


Dana and Thorp Girls playing

Three generations of Richard Henry Danas
Three generations of Richard Henry Danas
c. 1875

Thomas Gold Appleton

c. 1880

Thorp Family Photographs - Joseph Thorp

Approximately 400 glass plate negatives and prints make up the collection of photographs taken by Joseph Thorp, husband of Anne Longfellow.

  • They date from the 1890s through the 1920s and include images of the Thorp family in and around their summer home in Maine, their home at 115 Brattle Street, at the Dana home at 113 Brattle Street, and at the Longfellow House at 105 Brattle Street.
  • Also included are images of the 1900 reenactment of the "Song of Hiawatha" that was staged in Canada by members of the Ojibway Tribe.

Dana Family Photographs

The collection consists of approximately 1500 photographs from the following collections:

  • Elizabeth Ellery Dana Papers
  • Richard Henry Dana III Papers
  • Dana Family Papers

It includes portraits of many family members collected by Elizabeth Ellery Dana and Harry Dana in their efforts to document the Dana Family of America. See Archives and Manuscripts .

Appleton Family Photographs

This collection consists of sixty-five images related to Nathan Appleton, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Appleton, Thomas Gold Appleton, Greeley Stevenson Curtis, the Hopkinson family, William Sumner Appleton, Mary Appleton Mackintosh & family (Robert, Eva and others), Dorothy Everand Appleton Weld and various images of the Appleton family ancestral places in England.

There is also a memorial scrapbook with many photographs of Thomas Gold Appleton, his friends, his homes at Boston, Nahant and Newport; the yacht Alice, and his pets.


Craigie Related Photographs

This collection includes fifty images related to research conducted by a Craigie family descendant, Frederick Haven Pratt, in support of his book, The Craigies, published in 1942, with further research by his son Stephen D. Pratt. This collection includes images of places associated with Sister Mary "Polly" Allen, the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Craigie.



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana Collection

Walt Whitman carte-de-visite
Walt Whitman with Harold Hugh and Kitty (Katherine Deverau) Johnston

There are at least 3,000 photographs included in the papers of Harry Dana reflecting his many interests, including the history of the House, family history, and Russian theatre and politics.

The collection includes:

  • Stereographs of Mount Vernon in the 1880s
  • Washington Relics at the Metropolitan Fair of 1864
  • Illustrations, reenactments, and places associated with the poems of Henry W. Longfellow
  • Many important nineteenth-century photographs drawn from the papers of other Longfellow and Dana family members including luminaries of the art and literary world as well as politicians, such as:

    • Charles Dickens
    • John Ruskin
    • Robert Browning
    • Thomas Carlyle
    • George Eliot
    • The Prince of Wales
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    • Franz Liszt
    • Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Sarah Orne Jewett
    • Charles Sumner
    • Walt Whitman


Funeral of John Reed, Moscow, 1927

Funeral of John Reed

Personal and family-related images

Harry Dana's personal collection illustrates:

  • Teaching and travels
  • Early twentieth-century Russian Theater (approximately 400 glass plates and sixty-five film negatives)
  • Thirty-nine images of John Reed and Lenin in Russia
  • Dana and Longfellow family members
  • Friends and acquaintances (including Paul Robeson).

Photographs Related to Washington Allston

The collection includes 383 photographs of works by Allston and people and places associated with him. There are also sixty-five lantern slides that were used to illustrate a lecture about Washington Allston.

Henry Longfellow's childhood home
Portland, Maine
Early 20th c.

Photographs of Places

This collection includes photographs related to his research on:

  • Portland, Maine including
    • Henry W. Longfellow Birthplace
    • Wadsworth-Longfellow House
  • Dana-Palmer House in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Places related to Thoreau and Hawthorne
  • Salem, Massachusetts (forty-one photographs by Frank Cousins).



© 2004 Longfellow National Historic Site