Guide to the Scientists and Inventors Portrait File: photoprints
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Physical Description:
10 Cubic feet
10 boxes
Copy prints created by the Smithsonian Office of Priting and Photography of portraits of important scientists and others in Smithsonian collections.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Although the obvious intention of the organizers of this file was to produce a comprehensive, alphabetical file of images of important scientists, inventors, engineers, and other figures in the history of science and technology, the resulting representation of significant subjects is somewhat haphazard. Also, there are some portraits of subjects outside the intended fields, such as photographer Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr., and figures from non technological business areas.
Several drawers of file cards accompany the photographs. Some duplicate the names and negative numbers of file images without providing additional information; some provide source data; and some represent images which are not in the file. Most of the National Portrait Gallery items are copied from a study collection of carte de visite and cabinet prints which is uncatalogued: special arrangements to view the originals must be made with that institution.

Collection arranged into one series and arranged alphabetically by subjects' names.

This "collection" is essentially an alphabetical browsing file of copy prints created by the Smithsonian Office of Printing and Photographic Services. The original images are photographs, lithographs, etchings, and other forms of portraits located in Smithsonian collections, especially those of curatorial divisions located in NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY, but there are also substantial numbers of images copies from illustrations in books and periodicals. The latter probably were created for use in Museum exhibits and publications over the years.
These prints apparently were gathered from various curatorial divisions and other sources by volunteers, probably under the direction of curator Deborah Warner, Division of Physical Sciences. The prints were dry mounted onto cardboard and identified with the subjects' names and the corresponding OPPS negative numbers in order to serve as a ready reference file.
This is entirely a file of second and third generation images, therefore, and differs in form from most Archives Center collections. The usual handling precautions for photographic imagery do not necessarily apply, and users are free to browse in the files without protective gloves.

NMAH Staff
Custodial History
Trasferred to the Archives Center by the Division of Physical Sciences, circa 1984. File apparently compiled by staff and volunteers in the Division of Physical Sciences.
Processing Information
Collection processsed by NMAH Staff.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Scientists and Inventors Portrait File, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Inventors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Copy prints Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portraits -- Scientists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Physical Sciences Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012