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History of Philadelphia Collection

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Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Seymour Adelman was a Philadelphia based collector of prints, letters, and ephemera. Although he worked in real-estate – a family business – he is most well known for his extensive collecting habits. Adelman has no direct relation to Bryn Mawr, but was invited to visit by James Tanis, the director Canaday Library. The then newly build library offered Adelman an office and a space to house his collection, and this formed the relationship between Bryn Mawr College and Adelman.

Adelman's extensive collection contained material on Thomas Eakins, John Keats, Claude Lovat Fraser, and Laurence Hausman, as well as a large collection of letters. In addition to this work, Adelman also collected fine art prints, material related to the history of the book and publishing, and architectural history, among other interests. Most of this collection of historical prints and photographs from Philadelphia was originally part of Adelman's collection of prints and drawings.

This collection contains prints and photographs from 19th Century Philadelphia, mostly derived from the collection of Seymour Adelman. This collection will be useful as historical documentation of commerce and daily life in Philadelphia, as well as how the history of photography proliferated in East Coast cities in the mid-19th Century. the photographs are landscapes, rather than portraits or other genres. Few of the photographers are noted in the materials. The prints are also mostly landscapes or specific places.

Adelman Collection, Folder 1 - Photographs

(1) Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, 1861. (2) Five store-front photographs, c. 1860s. (3) Twelve street scene photographs pasted on board. (4) Badly damaged photograph on board.

Adelman Collection, Folder 2 - Prints

(1) Five illustrated title pages for musical scores of marches and polkas. (2) Four unrelated landscape engravings of Philadelphia. (3) Six small unrelated hand-colored landscape engravings of Philadelphia scenery. (4) Two maps of West Philadelphia. (5) Single hand-drawn and colored street-scene, "Bank of Philadelphia, Artist Unknown, c. 1835.

Publisher
Bryn Mawr College
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Records containing personal or confidential student information may be used subject to the discretion of the president of the college.

Use Restrictions

The History of Philadelphia Collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Collection Inventory

Adelman Collection, Folder 1: Photographs.
Scope and Contents

(1) Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, 1861. (2) Five store-front photographs, c. 1860s. (3) Twelve street scene photographs pasted on board. (4) Badly damaged photograph on board. (5) Folder of 13 smaller 19th Century prints, sometimes labeled on back.(6) One quarter-plate Dageurrotype that should be added to Embark.

Adelman Collection, Folder 2: Prints.
Scope and Contents

(1) Five illustrated title pages for musical scores of marches and polkas. (2) Four unrelated landscape engravings of Philadelphia. (3) Six small unrelated hand-colored landscape engravings of Philadelphia scenery. (4) Two maps of West Philadelphia. (5) Single hand-drawn and colored street-scene, "Bank of Philadelphia, Artist Unknown, c. 1835. (6) Two landscape drawings likely made with a Camera Obscura of Philadelpha, dated 1837.

Print, Suggest