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Robert W. Lisle Collection, 1830 - 2003
35.0 cubic feet; 73 boxes; 19 framed 2D objects not in boxes; 39 objects, some of which are in their original boxes
Collection number: MG.014

Abstract:
The Robert W. Lisle Collection contains photographic materials dating from 1830-2000 and measuring 35-cubic feet. The Lisle collection contains both photographic equipment and photographic images of various types, from early photography (a replica daguerreotype camera) to 20th-century analog and digital image-capture devices (Kodak, Nikon, Leica and Argus cameras). The Lisle collection touches on many important moments in the history of photography with an emphasis on the medium’s changing technologies.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use:

Due to the fragile nature of many of the materials in it, working with this collection will require the assistance and supervision of the Archivist.

Hampshire College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical note

This collection of materials was collected by Robert W. Lisle over 20 years. The collection was exhibited in 1990 by the Chrysler Museum, who published a catalog of the exhibit called Photography Remembered: A Selective View From The Robert W. Lisle Collection. Hampshire College purchased the collection in 2006.

Scope and Contents note

The Robert W. Lisle Collection is an artificially-amassed collection of image capture, developing and exhibition equipment as well as still- and moving-image materials. The collection spans over 150 years and focuses on the history of image capture in the United States from the mid 19th century to the early 21st.

The collection is arranged in the following four series:

Series 1. Eras of Image Capture This series contains equipment pertaining to the history of image capture. It contains prephotographic equipment like the magic lantern and a very early glass slide projector. It also contains a daguerreotype camera, motion picture cameras and projectors as well as esoterica like a head brace, used for keeping subjects still long enough for a daguerreotype exposure.

Series 2. Technological Innovators This series contains image capture equipment and materials exemplifying the profound effect on photography by the Kodak and Polaroid companies. This includes materials like cameras, advertisements and instruction manuals.

Series 3. Types of Photography This series features example of still image capture like daguerreotypes and tintypes. It also contains digital image capture devices from the early 21st century from a digital still camera to an iMac computer from the early 2000s.

Series 4. Other Photographic Materials This series contains darkroom equipment like enlargers, images of Niagara Falls (suitable for comparison of the different 19th and 20th century photochemical photographic processes) and photography-themed advertising posters.

The Robert W. Lisle collection touches on many important moments in the history of image capture with an emphasis on the changing technological realities of the medium.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use:

Due to the fragile nature of many of the materials in it, working with this collection will require the assistance and supervision of the Archivist.

History of the Collection
Accruals:

No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information
Appraisal

This collection was purchased by Hampshire College in 2004. An appraisal of the monetary value of this collection was done by the Baltimore Book Company of Baltimore, MD in 2003 prior to the collection's purchase. There is no scheduled destruction for this collection.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Hampshire College Archives & Special Collections
Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
Amherst, MA 01002
Language
Language
The materials are in English.
Related Archival Materials note

The Archives has a copy of the exhibition catalog (entitled Photography Remembered: A Selective View From The Robert W. Lisle Collection) from the 1990 exhibition of these materials at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. The accession number for this book is A.2012.2013.008.

Selections from the Lisle collection have been put into an online exhibit by the Hampshire Library that can be found here.


Contents List
Eras of Image Capture



Before Photography



The Discovery of Photography



The Daguerrean Period



Collodion Period



The Dry Plate Period



Cinema



Modern Classics



Technological Innovators



Kodak



Polaroid



Types of Photography



Stereo Photography



Press Photography



Miniature Photography



Novelty Photography



Computer and Digital Equipment



Other Photographic Materials



The Darkroom



Niagara Falls Photographs



Miscellaneous




Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Lisle, Robert W.
  • Motion pictures--Production and direction
  • Photography

Genre terms
  • Photographs


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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