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Popular Photographic Print Processes Represented in the Prints and Photographs Division

Scope | Table of Contents | Other Sources of Information


Included in this guide are descriptions and examples of photographic processes represented in the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division. The information is meant to help people understand the history, function, and production techniques of original photographs viewed either at Reading Room tables or in our online catalog as digital reproductions.

Some processes are direct-image positives, while others are printed from various types of negatives. We have provided a Chronological Listing to indicate which processes were in use at the same time and to assist with dating images.

Table of Contents

Albumen print Albumen prints
Ambrotype Ambrotypes
Calotype Calotypes (Talbotype)
Carbon print Carbon prints
Cyanotype Cyanotypes
Daguerreotype Daguerreotypes
Gelatin silver print Gelatin silver prints
Gum bichromate print Gum bichromate prints
Photogravure Photogravures
Platinum print Platinum and Palladium prints
Salted paper print Salted paper prints
Tintype Tintypes (Ferrotypes, Melainotypes, Melanographs)
Woodburytype Woodburytypes
chronlogy icon Chronological listing

Other sources of information about photographic processes

Alternative Photography, Alternative Processes External link

The George Eastman House, Photographic Processes and Terms Glossary External link

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography: Processes, Preservation, and Conservation External link

The Museum of the Confederacy, Collections & Library: The Collections: Photos External link

Victoria and Albert Museum, Photographic Processes External link

Wikipedia, Photography Techniques External link

Compiled by: Kathryn Blackwell, Reference Assistant, based on text drafted by former Curator of Photography, Jerald C. Maddox. With editorial guidance from Carol Johnson, Curator of Photography. Last revised: July 2007

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  August 30, 2011
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