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Civil War photograph file

Call Number

PR 164


1861-1865, [1880-1889], inclusive



12.55 Linear feet (11 boxes)

Language of Materials

This collection is primarily visual. Any text is likely to be in English.


Photographs taken of and during the United States Civil War. Photographs show battle scenes, camps, soliders, officers, and war-related paraphernalia. Some photographs were taken during the war and published afterward.


The collection is organized in nine series:

Series I. War Scenes and Sites
Series II. Portraits
Series III. Havemeyer Collection
Series IV. "Incidents of the War"
Series V. "Brady's Album Gallery"
Series VI. Plates from Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War
Series VII. Naval Scenes and Sites
Series VIII. Relief Organizations
Series IX. Later Platinum Prints

Scope and Contents

The Civil War Photograph File spans the full period of the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. It contains photographs in various formats and generations relating to the conflict and the men and women involved. Though all of the prints may not have been made during the war period, they are from period negatives made either in the field or photographer's studio; therefore, there are no memorial scenes or soldier reunions included in the collection.

In many cases there may be variant "states" of a single image found in different series. For example, the collection holds four copies of Alexander Gardner's portrait of the Fairfax Court House. There is one print in the "Incidents of the War" series, one copy in the plates from Gardner's Sketchbook, and two as albumen prints received as unmounted prints (one from Parish's 1906 gift) and mounted on card stock by the N-YHS bindery (filed in Series I.)

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Civil War Photograph File.

Location of Materials

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Major donors to the Civil War Photograph File include Daniel Parish (ca. 1841-1914) who gave massive amounts of Civil War material to the Historical Society over many years. Other gifts came from Henry O. Havemeyer (1961), and O.E Havemeyer (1962).

Related Materials

Thousands of photographic images of the Civil War can be found in the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections's War of the Rebellion Photograph Albums (PR 88) and Stereograph File (PR 65). Hundreds of portraits of war participants can be found in the Carte de Visite File (PR 11), Cased Photograph File (PR 12), Portrait File (PR 52), Mathew B. Brady Studio Portrait Photograph Collection (PR 85), and the Imperial Portrait Photograph File (PR 210).

Collection processed by

Sandra Markham

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:48:02 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from civilwar.xml


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024