Arthur, T.S. "American Characteristics; No. V.-- The Daguerreotypist." Godey's Lady's Book, vol. XXXVIII, May 1849, pp. 352-55
An article, in the style of the time, relating anecdotes about the studio -- in this case, that of Marcus Aurelius Root. The author, T.S. Arthur, was a popular journalist and the author of a manual for young women. The gentle humor poked at the hapless customers seems designed to calm cultural anxieties about the daguerreotype: fear of the physical truth, fear of sitting in front of the contraption.
Burns, Stanley B., M.D. Sleeping Beauty; Memorial Photography in America. Twelvetrees Press, 1990.
A graphic but highly effective look at post-mortem photography through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Burn's eye is unflinching; we are treated to bloody and bloated corpses as well as the conventional funeral shot. This difficult reading is necessary, though, for a complete view of the genre.
"The 'Daguerreotype,'" The Knickerbocker, vol XIV, December 1839, pp. 560-61.
A review of the first exhibition of Daguerre's work in New York, and a source of early impressions of the daguerreotype. This article shows the adoring awe that greeted the daguerreotype.
"Daguerreotypes," Littell's Living Age, vol IX, no. 110, June 20, 1946, pp. 551-52.
A very badly written, but telling contemporary source. This article connects the daguerreotype explicitly to phrenology.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1836- 1838. Emerson, Edward Waldo, and Waldo Emerson Forbes, eds. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1910.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841- 1844. Emerson, Edward Waldo, and Waldo Emerson Forbes, eds. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1911
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ed. Ralph Rusk. Vols. 3 & 4. New York: Columbia, 1939.
"A Few Photographs," The Knickerbocker, vol. XLII, August 1853, pp. 137-42.
Like the Godey's article, these tales from a French daguerreotype studio seems to be intended to calm anxiety about the accuracy of the medium by portraying the less fortunate subject -- in this case, an ugly woman. There is also an excitement about the honest look at the physiognomy that the daguerreotype provides, though.
Haber, Samuel. The Quest For Authority and Honor in the American Professions, 1750-1900. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1991.
The portion of this book that deals with our period argues convincingly that the professions suffered a loss in status at mid-century as a wave of egalitarianism swept the country. Taken with Wilentz and Hirsch on the artisan and the working class, forms part of a good summary of nineteenth-century occupation.
Halttunen, Karen. Confidence Men and Painted Women; A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870. New Haven: Yale, 1982
Halttunen uses magazines and other middle-class sources to support a wide-ranging theory of mid-century culture. Among other things, she argues for the dominance of a "sentimental" culture in response to the market, expressed in fashion and etiquette and spread, or at least reflected, in women's magazines like Godey's Lady's Book, her major source.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. New York: Modern Library, 1961.
This oft-cited novel has a daguerreotypist as a major character, and the daguerreotype's ability to reveal character is central.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Letters, 1813-1843. Ed. Thomas Woodson et al. Ohio State, 1989.
Hirsch, Susan E. The Roots of the American Working Class; The Industrialization of Crafts in Newark, 1800-1860. University of Pennsylvania, 1978.
Hirsch uses quantitative data, for the most part, to show how the factory-employed worker replaced the artisan as the primary urban worker in Newark in the first half of the nineteenth century. Her intention, as her title implies, is to present Newark as a test case for a national movement.
Jensen, Oliver, Joan Paterson Kerr, and Murray Belsky. American Album. New York: American Heritage Pub. Co./Simon and Schuster, 1968.
A sentimental collection of nineteenth century photographs, with a few daguerreotype portraits.
Johnson, Robert Flynn and Robert Harshorn Shimshak. The Power Of Light; Daguerreotypes from the Robert Harshorn Shimshak Collection. San Francisco: Achenberg Foundation for Graphic Arts, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 1986.
This is a little book published for an exhibition in San Francisco. The photographs are joined by beauty more than anything else. The collection is most useful for the attention paid to anonymous photographers and subjects. The reproductions are excellent, if small.
Kasson, John F. Rudeness and Civility; Manners in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1990
Using magazines, fiction, etiquette manuals, letters and other sources, Kasson argues that manners and other formal gestures of the nineteenth century were crucial expressions of culture. Far from rote displays of virtue, manners often served as tools of privilege and class domination.
Newhall, Beaumont. The Daguerreotype in America. Greenwich, CT : New York Graphic Society, 1968.
Newhall is the author of The History Of Photography, the standard overall history. This book provides a solid and picturesque history of the daguerreotype and its introduction to America, especially in the business of photography and galleries. It has a decent selection of prints, though they are weighed toward the famous subject, and away from the private portrait.
Pfister, Harold Francis. Facing the Light: historic American portrait daguerreotypes : an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, September 22, 1978-January 15, 1979. Washington: Published for the National Portrait Gallery by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978.
A collection of portraits, mostly of the famous, with accompanying text. A remarkably thorough piece of scholarship, with a section noting every known extant portrait of each person included.
Pike, Martha V. and Janice Gray Armstrong, eds. A Time to Mourn; Expressions of Grief in Nineteenth Century America. Stony Brook, New York: The Museums at Stony Brook, 1980.
This anthology includes several articles of interest, but most notably, Phoebe Lloyd's "Posthumous Mourning Portraiture." Lloyd argues that the posthumous mourning painting was widespread in the nineteenth century, and that many paintings of children that appear to be from life were, in fact, painted from corpses. She provides an important context for the posthumous daguerreotype portrait.
Prime, Samuel Irenaeus. The Life of Samuel F. B. Morse, LL. D.. New York: Appleton and Company, 1875.
The only complete source for Morse's letter introducing the daguerreotype to America; even his Letters and Journals, edited by his son, leaves out most remnants of his work with daguerreotypes.
Root, Marcus Aurelius. The Camera and the Pencil; or, The Heliographic Art. Pawlet: Helios, 1971. Originally published in 1864.
Rudisill, Richard. Mirror Image; the influence of the daguerreotype on American society. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971.
Rudisill's full-length treatment is much more theoretical than Newhall's, laying out a theory of a cultural "climate of need" that was satisfied by the photograph. Though his argument is occasionally forced, and he neglects the photographs themselves too often, this book was probably the first to analyze the body of photographs as I have -- in terms of broad anxieties, needs, reactions, etc. The annotated bibliography is broad and useful. Rudisill has a better range of prints than Newhall's, but some reproductions are terrible.
Sobieszek, Robert A. and Odette Appel. The Spirit Of Fact: The Daguerreotypes Of Southworth and Hawes, 1843-1862. Boston: David R. Godine, 1976.
Southworth and Hawes's Boston studio was one of the most famous, and judging by these photographs, the best. These are gorgeous and fascinating pictures of the famous and not-so-famous, beautifully reproduced. The text is usually good, if gimmicky and over-clever.
Trachtenberg, Alan, ed. Classic Essays on Photography. New Haven: Leete's Island Books, 1980.
Trachtenberg, Alan. Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Matthew Brady to Walker Evans. New York: Hill and Wang, 1990.
Trachtenberg, an English and American Culture professor, has a very broad range of sources, and he has an entirely original view, based around the idea that the photographer, like the historian, has a highly selective memory. He blends literature, magazine articles, and photograph collections together well to argue for a national construction of public image using the daguerreotype. Unfortunately, he does not turn his multi-disciplinary eye toward the private portrait; most of his chapter on the daguerreotype, "Illustrious Americans," centers around representations of the famous. When he does analyze a photograph, furthermore, his reading is so broad as to make it suspect as social history; that is, he often fails to consider the role of photographer and subject, considering instead, each photograph as literature, as a text independent of its creators.
Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic; New York City & the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850. New York: Oxford, 1984.
Williams, Hermann Warner, Jr. Mirror to the American Past; A Survey of American Genre Painting: 1750-1900. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1973.
Wood, John, ed. America and the Daguerreotype. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991.
This is a collection of essays. Wood's "The American Portrait," the opening essay, centers around the reaction of twentieth century viewers and avoids historical analysis. David Stannard's "Sex, Death, and the Daguerreotype" provides a useful connection between painted death portraits and mourning daguerreotypes; it is sometimes inspired but haphazard. Brooks Johnson's "The Progress of Civilization," the only scholarship that I could find on occupational daguerreotypes, is superficial and unconvincing.
This book does have a fine photograph collection. It is the only source that I had for
color reproductions of tinted photographs, and has generally strong reproductions.