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COLLECTION Identifier: Portrait file

Houghton Library collection of portraits


The Portrait File is an alphabetically arranged collection of portait images of individuals, groups of individuals, and views and miscellany, received from various sources at various times. Additions continue to be made.


  • Creation: 1617-2002

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


5 linear feet (22 boxes and 2 frames)

The Portrait File is a collection of portrait images of individuals, group portraits, and images of views and miscellany (geographical locations, buildings, objects, etc.), that were received singly or in small groups from various sources at various times. Items are a wide variety of formats, including: photographs, copy prints, cabinet photographs, cartes-de-visite, engravings, colored prints, lithographs, tintypes, photomechanical prints, stereographs, and others. Also includes unidentified images.


Organized in the following series:

  1. I. Portrait images of individuals and groups
  2. II. Images of views and miscellany

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from various sources at various times. Accession information is given with the item entry.

Related Materials

See also Autograph File for similar materials.

Processing Information

Processed by: Alexis Dinniman with the assistance of Jennifer Lyons and Bonnie B. Salt.

Size of material, where unmarked, is 15" x 11" or smaller; all larger items are marked (pf).

Portrait file: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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Harvard University
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