The Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs Using the Collection The collection of 1412 images can be accessed via the Library's CONTENTdm server and is fully searchable by keyword, subject, and image number. The item level inventory of the collection (in Excel) can help with formulating searches and sorting. About the Photographs The most common method of photography during the 1870s and 1880s was the wet plate albumen process. Albumen prints are characterized by a warm sepia tone that distinguish them from later silver gelatin prints. Eisenmann's images are noted for particularly being sharp, clear, and well-posed. The most common formats were cartes de visite and and cabinet cards.
The carte-de-visite, usually an albumen paper photograph mounted on a heavy paper card measuring 2½ × 4 inches, flourished in popularity between 1860 and the 1880s. The Carl Mautz collection of cartes-de-visite photographs created by California photographers includes 145 images consisting chiefly of portraits depicting children, women, and men, in single and group sittings and various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including Asian American and African Americans. The portraits also include persons with unique physical features, including midgets, dwarves, and giants as well as butchers, circus performers, freemason, miners, musicians, sailors, and soldiers.