Yankee Publishing Photograph Collection, 1890-1950

Collection Type

  • Photography






The Yankee Publishing photographic collection contains about 6,000 glass plate, acetate, and nitrate negatives from Yankee Publishing, Inc. of Dublin, New Hampshire. The negatives come in a variety of sizes, including 4 x 5, 5 x 7, 5 x 8, and 8 x 10 inches. When the negatives were donated to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquates, the negatives were arranged by Yankee Publishing, Inc. archivist and librarian Lorna Trowbridge. Ms. Trowbridge placed the negatives into several different categories and subcategories. Effort has been made on behalf of Historic New England to keep this arrangement intact, ensuring that the collection in its original order.
i735\li-15 Ms. Trowbridge organized the collection by topic, geographic location, and negative size. The majority of the 4 x 5 negatives are arranged into two series: subjects and geographic locations. These series are the largest in the collection, containing over 4,000 negatives. Many of these images were taken by photographer A.H. Blackington a photojournalist and author who worked as a news photographer for the Boston Herald and later operated his own service offering illustrated lectures and commercial news photographs . The subjects give insight into everyday life in New England from circa 1890 to 1945, and depict a wide variety of people and events, from the Hindenberg, to 4th of July picnics, to children on the seashore. The geographic series includes negatives from all six New England states. The negatives depict the environmental and geographic diversity of the area, from the steel skyscrapers in Boston to the picturesque White Mountains of New Hampshire and rocky coast line of Maine. The Yankee Photograph Collection includes numerous images of New Englanders engaged in various occupations--fishing along the Atlantic coast, stonecutting in Maine, tending stores throughout New England, logging in the Waterville Valley of New Hampshire, and harvesting crops--cranberries in the bogs of southeastern Massachusetts, potatoes in Aroostook, Maine, and strawberries in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The series of 8 x 10 negatives also include images of all five states, showcasing the natural beauty of New England.

The subject, geographic, and 8 x 10 series are followed by several smaller series, Jewett City, Coaches, Cottages, and Groups, Negatives for Prints, and Unknown Groups. These series include mainly 5 x 8, 5 x 7, and 6 ½ by 8 ½ negatives. The negatives depict family life in Jewett City, Connecticut, groups of people traveling in the White Mountains, family portraits, cats, and other diverse scenes of everyday life. Unknown groups contains three subseries that were grouped together by Yankee Publishing, Inc., librarian and archivist Lorna Trowbridge for an unknown reason. The negatives depict a wide range of images, from family celebrations to an early automobile shop. Lastly, the collection includes about 100 glass plate negatives that were taken by renowned photographer, Martha Hale Harvey.


Descriptive Terms

art (fine art)
children (people by age group)
landscapes (environments)
hotels (public accommodations)
marine structures
recreation areas
religion (discipline)
sports and recreation spaces
people in crafts and trades
covered bridges
dry collodion negatives
negatives (photographic)
black-and-white negatives

Physical Description

Approximately 6,000 glass plate, acetate, and nitrate negatives

Finding Aid Info

\li-15An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library & Archives.

Collection Code


Collection Name

Yankee Publishing Photograph Collection, 1890-1950

Date of Acquisition


Reference Code



This collection contains glass plate, acetate, and nitrate negatives of various New England scenes, which were acquired by Yankee Publishing to be used by the company's editorial staff.

Acquisition Type



Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Lynn (Essex county, Massachusetts)
New England (United States) [general region]
Connecticut (United States)
Massachusetts (United States)
Maine (United States)
New Hampshire (United States)
Rhode Island (United States)
Vermont (United States)
White Mountains (Coos county, New Hampshire) [mountain range]

Record Details


Yankee Publishing Incorporated (Publisher)
Blackington, Alton H. (Photographer)
Harvey, Martha (Photographer)

Material Type

dry collodion negatives
negatives (photographic)
black-and-white negatives

Other People

Blackington, Alton H.
Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974

Other Organizations

American Legion
Grand Army of the Republic
Yankee Publishing Incorporated


\li-15Extreme care must be used when handling this collection, as glass negatives are fragile. Gloves must be worn when handling photographic materials.

Conservation Note

About 200 nitrate negatives were removed from the rest of the collection and placed into a separate box, box 19. Four acetate negatives in Series VII, Subseries III are in a progressed state of decay and are showing signs of vinegar syndrome. These negatives were removed to box 36. All negatives will be housed in cold storage.

Publications Referencing This Collection

Condon, Lorna. (1995). "Inside SPNEA: The Yankee Photograph Collection," Old Time New England, Vol. 73., No. 260. Boston, Massachusetts: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
Sagendorph, Ralph, Hale, Judson D.. (1966). That New England. Dublin, New Hampshire: Yankee Incorporated.

Description Level


Accruals Note

Accruals are not expected.

Language Note

Materials are entirely in English.

Processing Information

Stephanie Krauss, 2018

Rules and Conventions

This finding aid is 2nd addition DACS-compliant

Historical/Biographical Note

Historical/Biographical Note

Robb Sagendorph founded Yankee Publishing in September of 1935. Following Sagendorph's graduation from Harvard in 1922, he worked in the steel and farming industries, before setting out to create a magazine, "for Yankee readers, by Yankee writers, and about Yankeedom." Founded shortly before the Great Depression, the magazine struggled for its first few years. Sagendorph;s wife, Beatrix, painted all the covers for the magazine and also helped finance the enterprise. In 1939, Sagendorph purchased the publishing rights to The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is America's oldest continuously published periodical. The Magazine suspended its monthly publication during the last two years of World War II but continued to publish a four-page issue to maintain the copyright.

Before his death in 1970, Sagendorph left the company to his daughters, Jane Kapp and Lorna Trowbridge. The company struggled with expansion in the 1980s but found a resurgence in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an embrace of the internet and new media techniques. Yankee Publishing contains to be a successful company with offices in Manchester and Dublin, New Hampshire.

During the 1960s, Sagendorph acquired the negatives within this collection to build an in-house repository of photographic images that could be used by Yankee's editorial staff. After extensive use in the late 1960s and early 1970s, demand for the images dwindled, and the negatives were moved into the cellar and soon forgotten. In the 1980s Lorna Trowbirdge, librarian and archivists at Yankee Publishing resurrected the collection and catalogued it. In the fall of 1994, Yankee Publishing, Inc., recognizing the importance of the collection to scholars and researchers, Ms. Trowbridge donated it to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. now Historic New England.


"History of Yankee Publising." Yankee Publishing. 2016. Retrieved from
\li-15\ri720Lorna Condon. "The Yankee Photograph Collection." Old-Time New England, volume 73, no. 260 (Fall 1995) 36-39.\n \li-15\ri4650 \n



This collection is arranged into eight series: subjects, geographic locations, 8 x 10 negatives, Jewett City, Coaches, Cottages, and Groups, Negatives for Prints, Unknown Groups, and the Martha Hale Harvey glass plate negatives.

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