The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center (HRC) has a wealth of collections related to the history of photography, many of which are now available online, including the Stanley B. Burns, MD Tintypes Collection. Dr. Stanley B. Burns, who donated the collection to HRC, is a New York City ophthalmologist who began collecting historical photographs in 1975 and established the Burns Archive in 1977. The 121 tintypes, primarily portraits, in the collection at HRC are unique in several ways. First, the images are exceptionally large; the most common size in tintypes is the one sixth plate, or 2.75 x 3.25 inches; many of the Burns collection images are imperial or mammoth plates, larger than 6.5 x 8.75 inches. In addition, the tintypes are hand-colored and are in period frames. For example, a portrait of the 20th U.S. President, James Abraham Garfield has an image size of about 12 x 9.75 inches, with painted skin tone and background, and is in an ornate frame, characterized as Barbizon School. Including this frame, entire piece measures 22.5 x 20.5 inches. Visitors to the site can browse the entire HRC, with options to filter by photography format, subject, date, and frame style.
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