Prints and engravings collection, 1830s-1920s

Collection Type

  • Art





Browse Collection


The Prints and Engravings Collection consists of approximately 2,500 engravings, lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings, dating from the 1830s until the 1920s. The collection contains rare examples of the work of J. H. Bufford, Hammatt Billings, and other Boston printmakers.

These materials are primarily documentary depictions, and the bulk is strictly topographical in nature. The coverage of commercial, public, and church buildings in the mid-nineteenth century is particularly strong, such as many illustrations from "Gleason's Pictorial" (later entitled "Ballou's Pictorial"), often based on daguerreotype views. The earlier materials often portray landmarks, such as Boston Harbor, the State House, and Bunker Hill Monument, or distant views of towns clustered against a landscape background.

A small group of nearly 100 oversize prints include fine color views of several commercial buildings by Boston lithographer J. H. Bufford, printed in the 1850s and 1860s; a series of the Exhibition Halls at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, published by Thomas Hunter; "The Grand Ascension at the Millerite Tabernacle", circa 1844; and several color works by Maxfield Parrish.

Source: Guide to the Library and Archives, 19.


Descriptive Terms

commercial buildings
public buildings
churches (buildings)
exhibition buildings
historic buildings
historic houses
religious buildings
engravings (prints)
woodcuts (prints)
wood engravings (prints)

Physical Description

ca. 2,500 engravings, lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings

Collection Code


Collection Name

Prints and engravings collection, 1830s-1920s

Reference Code



Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Cambridge (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Boston Harbor (Massachusetts) [harbor]

Record Details


J.H. Bufford & Co. (Printer)
Hunter, Thomas, ca. 1825 (Publisher)
Parish, Maxfield (Artist)
Billings, Hammatt, 1818-1874 (Designer)

Material Type

engravings (prints)
woodcuts (prints)
wood engravings (prints)

Descriptive Terms

Centennial Exposition (1876)

Description Level


Related Items

Original art collection

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