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Alfred A. Dé Lardi negatives and photographs


Held at: Philadelphia History Museum [Contact Us]15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia History Museum. 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

Alfred Arthur Dé Lardi (1900-1993) was a photographer well known for his work in color photography. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1900 and came to the United States in 1915. Having initially settled in Houston, Texas, by the mid-1920s, Dé Lardi's family had moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In Philadelphia, Dé Lardi worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer (1926 until the mid 1940s), travel magazine Holiday, and, later, Sun Oil Company, the Pennsylvania Railroad, Philadelphia Electric Company, and Radio Corporation of America.

Dé Lardi wrote several books and taught on the subject of photography; he also served as judge in many photography salons. He was involved with several photography organizations: an associate in the Oval Table Society, an honorary member of the Daguerre Society, and a fellow in the Royal Photographic Society. Dé Lardi was honored with many national awards, particularly for his color work in the 1940s.

Dé Lardi married Dorothy Miller and they had two children, Janice and Yvonne. He passed away in 1993.


"Alfred A. De'lardi." Orlando Sentinel, July 14, 1993. Accessed October 22, 2014.

"Camera Prizes to Be Awarded." Harrisburg Telegraph, May 8, 1939. Accessed October 22, 2014.

This collection consists of a vast number of negatives produced by Dé Lardi throughout the course of his long career, as well as a large number of prints.

Images, circa 1929-1964, include some commissioned by clients or employers (many used for publicity and advertising), some he produced to sell or use in his exhibitions, and some were produced for other purposes. Although there are several images produced for clients including Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO), a larger number of images relate to the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) and Sun Oil Company (Sunoco). Workers, laboratories, machinery, and other aspects of Sunoco's operations throughout various locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and other states are depicted. Similar subjects are captured for other corporate clients. Other images in the collection depict the Philadelphia Airport; the Benjamin Franklin Bridge; colleges and universities, many in the Philadelphia area, but ranging in location from Maine to Tennessee; exteriors and interiors of buildings such as churches, public libraries, businesses, and residential homes; city scenes in Philadelphia and elsewhere; people in candid and portrait positions; groups such as school baseball teams and school classes; travel and tourist scenes in a variety of locations; and other subjects. Although the geographic location covered in most of the images is primarily the Philadelphia area and New Jersey, a number of other locations including Arizona and Texas are represented as well.

A large set of negatives in the collection are organized by client in alphabetical order with contact name, date, and the organization's location. Other negatives are grouped by subject. Most of the negatives are labeled, and there is at least one glass plate negative. A small number of other materials are in the collection including World War II ration books and coupons for Dé Lardi and his family, calendars and other items produced by Dé Lardi as examples of his work, and other items.

A partial item-level inventory, covering the photographic prints, some negatives and other materials, is available on-site.

Gift of Alfred A. Dé Lardi, 1990 (accession 90.35)

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Philadelphia History Museum directly for more information.

Philadelphia History Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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