View our Cartes-de-Visite

By Robin Naughton, Digital Systems Manager

Through the Culture in Transit: Digitizing and Democratizing New York’s Cultural Heritage grant, the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) sent a mobile scanning unit to the New York Academy of Medicine Library to digitize our collection of cartes de visite, small inexpensive photographs mounted on cards that became popular during the second part of the 19th century.

Carte-de-visite of Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), English born physician. Photograph by W. Kurtz.

Carte-de-visite of Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), English born physician. Photograph by W. Kurtz.

Our collection consists of 223 late 19th– and early 20th-century photographs of national and international figures in medicine and public health (individuals on three cartes remain unidentified).

This collection contains portraits both of lesser-known individuals and of famous New York physicians, such as Abraham Jacobi, Lewis Albert Sayre, Willard Parker, Stephen Smith, Emily Blackwell, and Valentine Mott. It also includes many with international reputations: Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur, Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolf Virchow, and others. New York photographers took a number of the photographs; others were created by the New York offices of such establishments as Mathew Brady, as well as by photographers in Paris, Berlin, and London.

We are thrilled to share our entire collection on the Digital Culture website. You can view the front and back of each carte, and find out brief information about the physicians and scientists pictured. View all of the Library’s digitized collections.

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