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COLLECTION Identifier: VSCO124

The Haskell photograph collection of early American architecture


Photographs of colonial New England architecture taken by Arthur C. Haskell between 1934 and 1950.


  • 1934-1950

Physical Description

4,000 gelatin silver prints

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Please contact Special Collections, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and/or publication of materials subject to copyright requires written permission from a) the copyright owner, his/her heirs or assigns and from b) the Fine Arts Library, owner of the original material.


19 boxes

Many of the buildings, which date from the 17th to the early 19th century, are located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A small number of buildings were photographed in Connecticut and Maine (none of the buildings are located in Vermont). The building types range from churches and meeting houses to taverns and dwellings. Private houses abound, many of which were already museums at the time of photography.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur C. Haskell was born on January 23, 1890 in Salem, Massachusetts . After high school he worked at drafting in the offices of Ralph Adams Cram and at other Boston architectural firms. Between 1910 and 1922, he taught himself the art and craft of architectural photography, using an 8 x 10 view camera. The architect Frank Chouteau Brown provided him with some of his earliest commissions, and also invited him to take pictures for the White Pine Monograph Series of illustrated essays on early American architecture. Haskell went on to provide many of the images used in that series. During the late 1920s, Haskell chose architectural photography as his profession, taking assignments from major Boston architectural firms. During the 1930s he made images for the Historic American Buildings Survey . The photography of early buildings became his specialty. He was celebrated for the beauty and clarity of his images, of which he produced several thousand. Haskell died on August 20, 1968, in Montpelier, Vermont.


Arranged alphabetically by site and building. There are general views of each city and town in one folder and specific buildings in separate folders. Each photograph is labelled with location, name of building if known, and date of photograph.


sizes vary; some 24 x 18 cm.

Processing Information

The collection was purchased in 1965 or 1966, and an inventory created in 1967. The photographs were rehoused in acid-free boxes around 2004. Spelling normalization and cross references were added to the box list by processor during mark-up of the finding aid.

Haskell, Arthur C. (Arthur Cushman), 1890-1968. The Haskell photograph collection of early American architecture : Finding Aid
Fine Arts Library, Harvard Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Fine Arts Library Repository

The Fine Arts Library is among the leading libraries in the world for the study of art, architecture, and visual culture from antiquity to the present. Since 1895, FAL has served the needs of the visual arts community at Harvard, providing research and curricular support for all areas in the history of art, architecture, photography, and the decorative arts. FAL's archival collections may be consulted in the Special Collections Study Room by appointment only.

Littauer Center
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