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Zelda Mackay Papers

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Repository: Richard and Ronay Menschel Library, George Eastman Museum
Creator - col: Mackay, Zelda, 1893-1985
Source - sll: Mackay, Zelda, 1893-1985
Title: Zelda Mackay papers
ID: RRML.SC0035
Date [bulk]: 1839-1967
Physical Description: 3 Linear Feet
Language of the Material: English

Scope & Content: Zelda Mackay’s manuscript collection consists of four boxes numbered 55 through 58.

Box 55 contains Mackay’s cards of her collection and the numerous supportive materials for her photographs, which consist mostly of newspaper and magazine articles on the subject matter of her pictures.

Box 56 is dedicated to the general correspondence of Zelda Mackay on photographic matters or on the identities of her pictures’ sitters. Included are letters from the executors of the Hawes estate, Mackay’s correspondence with Beaumont Newhall, and a letter from a consultant at the Library of Congress.

Box 57 contains old advertisements of daguerreotypes and photo-equipment; articles on the history of photography, use of daguerreotypes in jewelry, daguerreotype cases, and techniques of daguerreotyping; and correspondence with Alden Scott Boyer which includes numerous photographs of his own photography museum and its treasures such as pictures, advertisements, articles, and historic letters.

Box 58 is dedicated to the letters written to Mackay by Mollie (Amalia) Britt, daughter of the pioneering American photographer Peter Britt, who emigrated from Switzerland in 1845. He had amassed a priceless collection of early daguerreotypes, porcelain, and photographs of pioneers. The collection was later preserved by his children, who transformed his gallery into a museum. Nonetheless, they gave some daguerreotypes to Mackay, as well as many old magazines on photography.


Creation of this finding aid was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant #MA-30-15-0019-15.