October 9 Assignment

During my research about modeling for daguerreotypes in the 19th century, I stumbled upon many interesting digital archives. However, Calisphere is, by far, my favorite. Calisphere features hundreds of different collections concerning different types of primary source images. Specifically, I found it beneficial since it displays a wide range of daguerreotypes (the primary source image for my research project). For example, it presents a collection that includes seventy-eight “cased photographs” that include daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes (also known as ferrotypes) around the mid-1800s. This collection (entitled Cased Photographs Selected from the Collections of the California History Section of the California State Library) shows portraits of pioneers, mining scenes, and mining towns during the famous California Gold Rush of 1849. This collection of Calisphere can contribute to my research paper in two ways. First, it can allow me to analyze an extensive collection of daguerreotypes in the 19th century in order to clarify the reason behind the stern expressions. Second, it can allow me to compare old daguerreotypes to modern-day photographs to try and pinpoint when people started smiling in photographs.

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4 thoughts on “October 9 Assignment”

  1. I remember hearing about your topic during class and I think it is very intriguing! I think the idea of using the transition from old daguerreotypes to more modern photographs in order to analyze the changing standards of pictures and smiling is so interesting! I wonder though, how will you go about finding reasons behind the stern expressions of daguerreotypes?

  2. Sounds extremely helpful – one question: what/how are you going to access the modern day photographs

  3. It’s excellent that you were able to find an archive with such a broad range of daguerreotypes to use as primary source images for your project. It can be extremely helpful towards your research that they have many for you to access, especially if they have good descriptions of each daguerreotype.

  4. Amnah, it sounds like you found a very useful article to derive your argument from. It will be great to have so much information at your disposal when writing, I would make sure though that you can narrow your source to fit your purpose, otherwise the reader might be confused as to what exactly you are writing about.

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