Stanley B. Burns, M.D., historian, collector, and physician, recently donated a part of his daguerreotype collection to the Photography Collections of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The gift of 252 daguerreotypes continues Dr. Burns’ long relationship with UMBC.
As an historian, Dr. Burns has written over 1,100 articles and over forty books on subjects ranging from Victorian funeral portraits to early oncology. His books Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography In America, and Forgotten Marriage: The Painted Tintype & The Decorative Frame, 1860-1910, A Lost Chapter in American Portraiture both received American Photographic Historical Society awards for best publications.
Among the donated works are both signed and unsigned daguerreotypes, that is, ones for which the photographer is identified and ones for which the photographer is anonymous. The anonymous ones are valued for the uniqueness of the imagery, the interesting representations of nineteenth century people, and the material culture characteristics. The identified ones are valued for these same qualities as well as having information about the photographers. More than seventy different photographers are represented among the signed works, including daguerreotypists such as Charles Deforest Fredericks, Rufus Anson, John Plumbe, Jr., Samuel Broadbent, and Jessie Whitehurst.
The gift substantially increases the holdings of daguerreotypes at UMBC.
Visit Special Collections to see our growing collection of daguerreotypes.