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Cartes de Visite Historical Photographs Collection

 Collection — Container: ELIBR-0245, Box: 1
Identifier: ELIBR-0245

Scope and Contents

A collection of images representing the carte-de-visite, a form of calling card that gained popularity in Europe and the United States during the 19th century. The photographs are either pre, post, or during the U.S. Civil War. One notable item is a photograph taken by William Friese-Green, often credited as the inventor of motion pictures. This collection was acquired by the Library when the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) deaccessioned their collection in 1985.

Cartes de visite are card photographs that were generally produced as albumen prints from wet collodion negatives. Studios produced these types of photographic cards en masse.

Digitized images from this collection are accessible via our institutional repository.


  • Majority of material found within 1860 - 1884

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in our collections may be protected by copyright. Publication, transmission, or reproduction of items protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Whenever possible, accurate information about the copyright status of material is provided in the item record and/or documentation for material in the collection. The Library does not own the copyright in much of the material in its collection and is therefore unable to grant copyright permission to publish those items. It is the researcher's responsibility to determine copyright or other use restrictions and obtain proper permission when publishing or distributing materials found in these collections. Researchers must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use. Additional information about copyright and fair use is available via the Library's Copyright Guide at


82 Items : Black and White images ; 10 x 6 cm

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized access copies are available online via UTRGV ScholarWorks as well as in the ELIBR and BLIBR Special Collections Reading Rooms.


Please contact University Library, Special Collections and University Archives at (956) 665-2726 or via email at for more information and requests.


There are photographs within this collection that have a stamp affixed in the back. This was part of an act of Congress that passed on June 30, 1864 which required most legal documents to have a tax stamp. The tax stamp was repealed on August 1, 1866.

In Progress
Kristen Weischedel; William Flores
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019-08: Separated from the Photographs, Miscellaneous Collection (ELIBR0154)

Repository Details

Part of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Edinburg Campus Repository

ELIBR 1.104
University Library
1201 West University Drive
Edinburg TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2726