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Mary H. Northend photographic collection, 1904-1926

PC034 (RS17626)

Description

The Mary H. Northend Photographic Collection is comprised of over 6,000 glass plate negatives in 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 inch sizes and several thousand photographic prints. Many of the negatives remain unprinted. The manuscript material, contained in 17 folders, is chiefly made up of typed articles and drafts of chapters of books that Northend used to submit to publishers. The items in the collection date from circa 1910 to the early 1930s.

Northend's work covered the Progressive Era from 1904 to 1926, from the perspective of a woman born before the Civil War who witnessed enormous transformations in society, and took a lively interest in the ways Americans coped with these changes. The subject matter depicted in the collection is eclectic, ranging from garages to tearooms, and covering architecture of many styles and periods, such as the bungalows of the early 1920s.

Some materials were acquired from the Halliday Historic Photograph Company and William T. Clark, which suggests that she may have operated a stock photo agency for historic and architectural views. The large majority of the prints are still in their original enclosures.

Sources: Gamble, Jeanne M. Surroundings of Inspiration: The Progressive Era through the Lens of Mary H. Northend, 1904-1926. 2008; Guide to the Library and Archives, 11; and Boston Globe, December 17, 1926, A8.

Details

Collection Name
Mary H. Northend photographic collection, 1904-1926
Collection Code
PC034
Dates
1904-1926
Acquisition Type
Museum Purchase
Date of Acquisition
1959
Physical Description
ca. 3,000 photographic prints : black-and-white
ca. 6,000 glass plate negatives : black-and-white
Collection Type
Photographs
Description Level
Collection
GUSN
171286
Reference Code
PC034

Historical/Biographical Note

Mary Harrod Northend was born on May 10, 1850 in Salem, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of William Dummer Northend, a criminal lawyer and state senator, and Susan Stedman (Harrod) Northend. She began writing in 1904, specializing in colonial architecture and house furnishings. She owned her own business, in the course of which she amassed a collection of approximately 30,000 images, including exterior and interior views of homes. She was very interested in the preservation of historic houses in Salem and other Essex County localities. She was the author of numerous articles and several books. She died on December 17, 1926 in Salem.

Sources: Gamble, Jeanne M. Surroundings of Inspiration: The Progressive Era through the Lens of Mary H. Northend, 1904-1926. 2008; Guide to the Library and Archives, 11; and Boston Globe, December 17, 1926, A8.

Arrangement

The negatives are indexed by localities. Prints are located in the Library and Archives in file drawers marked "Northend," except for those which have been transferred to the geographic or subject files.

Record details

Originator
Northend, Mary H. (1850-1926) (Photographer)
Descriptive Terms
bungalows
dwellings
exterior views
garages
glass (material)
houses
interior views
tea rooms
Material Type
black-and-white negatives
black-and-white prints (photographs)
photographic plates
Subjects
Architectural photography
Places
Massachusetts (United States)
New England (United States) [general region]

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