Welcome to the Rheingold Historical Photograph Collection

The Rheingold Historical Photo Collection (RHPC) contains some 70,000 photos almost entirely of the type where the photograph is mounted on a cardboard backer. These span the time period from the Civil War to the 1920s. The majority are in the era of 1890-1910.

The photos have been categorized into 25 main headings, with a total of about 2400 subdivisions, and are stored away into the pertinent category. While the great majority of the views have not been digitized, some of the most interesting photos are and are accessible via this site.

There are two purposes of this website. The first is to list the categories into which the photos have been placed. This is to assist others who may be cataloging similar collections. These are set forth on the “Gallery/Categories” page. This data base is searchable.

The second purpose is to illustrate these categories, using photos from the collection. These too are accessible at the “Gallery/Categories” page. If there are pictures which illustrate a category, the site so indicates, and clicking on the category will bring up the picture. Or if you have found a picture, you can link back to the category under which it is stored.

In the “About” page of this site, you will find an introductory essay, with detailed explanations on how the collection is being assembled and how it is stored. Also you can learn about obtaining copies of the photos. In the “Articles/Links” page of this you will find a bibliography and links to major resources on other collections, and on the techniques and history of photography. Plus you will find some articles which we have written on old photos.