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Arthur C. Haskell photographic collection, 1910s-1930s

PC030 (RS98299)


The Arthur C. Haskell Photographic Collection is comprised of approximately 3,000 original prints and negatives. Nearly all of the negatives have been printed. Haskell was one of the major architectural photographers in New England, making capturing the visual aspects of buildings and structures his specialization.

The printed portions consist of work which Haskell prepared for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in Massachusetts in the 1930s, documenting a wide range of surviving seventeenth to early-nineteenth-century buildings throughout the state. These include exterior elevations, details, and many interiors, well lit and composed, without sacrificing their documentary utility. The HABS catalogue to Massachusetts provides an indication of the scope of Haskell's historic work. In addition to his prints, the collection contains a set of forty-five notebooks of his photographs, arranged by HABS number. An index furnishes access by localities and building types. Both the catalogue and index are available in the Library and Archives.

Haskell's unprinted negatives include commissioned photographs for several Boston area businesses, banks, museums, hospitals, schools, and manufacturing firms, most of them taken approximately in the period of 1918 to 1924. Among these buildings are: the Salada Tea Building; Museum of Natural History; Massachusetts General Hospital; Shawmut, First National, and Five Cent Savings Banks; Revere Sugar Refinery under construction; Brown Durrell store; and many others. These images are particularly notable for their coverage of interior work spaces, from boardrooms to basements.

Source: Guide to the Library and Archives, 6-7 and 23.


Collection Name
Arthur C. Haskell photographic collection, 1910s-1930s
Collection Code
Physical Description
ca. 3,000 photographic negatives : black-and-white
ca. 3,000 photographic prints : black-and-white
Collection Type
Description Level
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Arthur C. Haskell was born on January 23, 1890 in Salem, Massachusetts. After high school he worked at drafting in the offices of Ralph Adams Cram and at other Boston architectural firms. Between 1910 and 1922, he taught himself the art and craft of architectural photography, using an 8 x 10 view camera. The architect Frank Chouteau Brown provided him with some of his earliest commissions, and also invited him to take pictures for the "White Pine Monograph Series" of illustrated essays on early American architecture. Haskell went on to provide many of the images used in those publications. During the late 1920s, Haskell chose architectural photography as his profession, taking assignments from major Boston architectural firms. During the 1930s, he made images for the Historic American Buildings Survey. The photography of early buildings became his specialty. He was celebrated for the beauty and clarity of his images, of which he produced several thousand. Haskell died on August 20, 1968, in Montpelier, Vermont.

Source: finding aid for The Haskell photograph collection of early American architecture(

Record details

Haskell, Arthur C. (Arthur Cushman), 1890-1968 (Photographer)
Other Organizations
Historic American Buildings Survey
Descriptive Terms
banks (financial institutions)
commercial buildings
details (components)
exterior views
hospitals (buildings for health facility)
interior views
savings banks
sugar refineries
Material Type
black-and-white negatives
black-and-white prints (photographs)
Architectural photography
Natural history museums
Massachusetts (United States)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Places (Buildings)
Massachusetts General Hospital
Museum of Natural History (Boston, Mass.)
Revere Sugar Refinery
Salada Tea Building (Boston, Mass.)
Related Items
Historic American Buildings Survey architectural collection, 1930s — This collections contains notebooks of photographs that Arthur C. Haskell shot for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).