Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
William H. Rau was born in Philadelphia in 1855. His older brother, George, operated a photography studio out of the Rau house, exposing William to the trade at a young age. By the age of 13, he started doing photographic work for his future father-in-law, William Bell, who was a medical and survey photographer for the federal government.
In 1877 Rau purchased the stereograph company of his father-in-law, William Bell, and continued to publish stereographs as well as lantern slides under his name. Rau was appointed official photographer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1895. He surveyed the length of the line, from New York City through Pennsylvania to upstate New York. In 1891, Rau was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Railroad as its official photographer to document operations and scenic views along its track lines. Later in 1893, the Pennsylvania Railroad commissioned Rau for a second photographic campaign.
Rau received appointments to photograph the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904) and the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland (1905).
Rau died at his home in Philadelphia on November 19, 1920.
The Collection of William H. Rau photographs comprises twelve images taken by Rau in Philadelphia. Images include: street scenes; trains; the Girls High School, 17th and Spring Garden Streets, circa 1876; Ridgeway Library at Broad and Christian St.; hospital on Front Street; Wissahickon Creek; Pennsylvania University; Grand Opera House; gardens; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; and Philadelphia City Hall.
Accessioned as 100002.545. Samantha Dodd processed, wrote and encoded the finding aid, 2023.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Samantha Dodd
- Finding Aid Date
- 2023 May 25
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts.