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Carte de Visite Project

The Southern Cartes de Visite Collection is a recently-digitized group of 3,356 photographs from circa 1850 to 1900 from the A. S. Williams III Americana Collection. The ADHC was part of a larger collaboration within the University Libraries to create a digital map depicting the locations of photographers, studios, and galleries represented within the collection of cartes de visite, creating an interface in which users can browse the collection geographically, or filter it by photographer. Users can also access a link to the Acumen database to see and manipulate the cartes de visite photographs. The cartes-de-visite, or “visiting cards,” are part of the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection at The University of Alabama. The photographs represent an impressive range of southern studios during a time when the prints were the most popular and inexpensive form of portrait photography. Small (2 1/2 by 4 1/2) albumen images mounted on cardstock, cartes-de-visite allowed customers to quickly and easily share photographs with friends, family, and colleagues. Many prominent and lesser-known photographers are represented, and the collection serves as a valuable resource for historians of the South, genealogists, and the general public.

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