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Architecture Prints Collection


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 architecural prints was originally part of Adelman's collection of prints and drawings.

This collection contains a wide range of print materials related to architectural study and illustration. Mostly from the 19th century, these prints were most likely used as illustrations in bound or grouped collections, for study prints of architectural styles, or for leisure as keepsakes or collectable of particular places. Most of the collection contains prints of churches, ruins, and chateaus in Europe (mostly France). Although this is the bulk of the material, there are also a number of blueprints, and prints from America. The prints are mostly lithographs, but there are also several engravings. This collection would be useful for research related to architectural illustration, 19th century tourism, and 19th century print culture.

Please note there is an additional folder of material (mostly details of churches) in the collection "Adelman Oversize Prints."

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Elliot Krasnopoler
Finding Aid Date
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 Architecutral Prints Collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Collection Inventory

Adelman - Folder 1 - European Churches.
Scope and Contents

This folder contains images of church facades and parts of churches, mostly French. Most prints contain captions of the church's location or name. (1) About 35 large prints (approx 12x18 inches). Mostly lithographs. There are a few hand-colored lithographs, and a few etchings. Includes one large hand-colored etching of St. Clement Danes in London. (2) About 40 smaller prints (8x10 inches, or smaller). These are mostly etchings, with a few lithographs and a few colored lithographs. Several of these prints include genre scenes within the church rather than images of the exterior.

Adelman - Folder 2 - European Secular Buildings.
Scope and Contents

This folder contains a mixture of lithographs and etchings. Most prints are of castle and chateaus in France, but there are also images of Roman Baths, landscapes of cities, town squares, and so forth. About 27 prints total. Most prints are monotone, but there are a few really nice hand-colored etchings that stand out.

Adelman - Folder 3 - Blueprints and Study Prints.
Scope and Contents

This folder contains a collection of prints illustrating architectural details (doors, columns, stairways, etc.), and a collection of blueprints

(1) 19 lithographs and etchings of architectual details. (2) Collection of architectural plans on wax-paper. Mostly American, these seems to relate to a few churches in Upstate NY, and maybe plans for a municipal park. More research is needed for these.

Adelman - Folder 4 - Landscapes and American Prints.
Scope and Contents

This folder contains both landscape prints (that could be put into their own collection at a later date) and prints of American buildings and city scenes. Included here are lithographs (a few are colored) and etchings. More resources about American Architecture can also be found in the Philadelphia History Collection. (1) 6 prints of landscape views, mostly European, with a few after paintings. (2) 5 smaller etchings of American cities or singular buildings in landscapes, mostly from New England.

Print, Suggest