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Tintype photographs

 Collection — Box: SC
Identifier: S3785

Scope and Contents

This collection contains nine tintypes of three sizes: one is nearly 4x5 ½”, one is a “gem”, about 1” square, and the remaining seven are the usual 2 ½ x 3 ½” size. All are damaged to varying degrees – bent, scratched, rusting or abraded. Five are in protective paper mats which are soiled or ripped. All are portrait photographs; one is a caricature. Three are of pairs of women, one of three women, two are groups of people, three are of men alone, including the characature. All are interior studio settings. Photocopies are available for viewing to reduce wear on the original photographs.


  • circa 1875-1885

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Administrative History:

A tintype is a collodion emulsion positive photograph made on sheet iron. This photographic process was developed by Hamilton L. Smith of Kenyon College, Ohio, and patented by him in 1856. Peter and William Neff purchased the patent rights for the manufacture of plates. Tintypes, also called melainotypes or ferrotypes, and direct positives making them necessarily laterally reversed. Tintypes are generally placed in cases or paper mats. They were often colored by hand. They gained popularity during the Civil War in the United States continuing into the twentieth century.


9.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains nine tintypes of three sizes. All are damaged to varying degrees. All are portrait photographs

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.

Guide to the Tintype photographs
Finding Aid Authors: Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526