The George Eastman Museum holds the world’s leading collection of photographic and cinematographic technology. Consisting of more than 16,000 artifacts from the earliest days of photography to today’s integrated, handheld digital devices, the collection contains all of the equipment necessary for photographic image making, as well as printed documentation related to the business, manufacturing, and marketing of the photographic and motion picture industries.
From devices that predate the formal invention of photography in 1839 to the modern instruments used by both amateurs and professionals, the collection offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine and learn about photographic technology. Many of the objects are unique, representing distinguished historical ownership and significant scientific achievement. The collection includes cameras and equipment used by renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams, Eadweard Muybridge, Arnold Newman, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
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The core collections are both European and American in origin; the greatest strengths are early French and American cameras. Among the collection’s holdings are still and motion picture cameras and projectors, handheld mono and stereo viewers, lenses, accessories, film and paper packaging supplies, exposure measuring instruments, and objects related to darkroom developing and printing, including enlargers, timers, and trays. The collection also includes Eastman Kodak Company Patent collection.
Please note that this is the historic online database and is not a comprehensive or representative selection of the collection at the George Eastman Museum. These selected highlights represent only a very small portion of the objects in the technology collection. For more information on the technology collection, contact the technology department here. We are currently working to make the entire collection database accessible online.