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Latin America and the Caribbean in Photographs at the Library of Congress

Photo Albums

The Prints & Photographs Division has numerous photo albums showing Latin America and the Caribbean, many dating back to the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Please note that some photographic surveys have not yet been fully organized and described. These generally have "unprocessed" in their call number. To access these unprocessed surveys, please submit an online request form at least 14 days in advance to visiting the Prints & Photographs Reading Room.

Argentine album by Guillermo Kraft

Born in Germany, Kraft (1839-1893) moved to Buenos Aires between 1862 and 1864. He opened a workshop that introduced steam-powered lithographic printing and chromolithography in Argentina. Acquainted with European photographers in the capital and possibly a photographer himself, Kraft printed a collection of photos as lithographs, which were bound into an album in 1891.

Bolivian album by Rodolfo Boock

Between ca. 1900 and 1909, Rodolfo Boock and his brother, Alberto Boock, owned a photography studio, Boock Hermanos, in Antofagasta, a city along the Pacific coast that Bolivia signed-over to Chile in 1904. Following his brother’s move to Santiago in ca. 1909, Rodolfo Boock stayed in Antofagasta but worked independently. Created by Rodolfo, this album depicts the silver mine Huanchaca and the surrounding mining center of Pulacayo.

Brazilian album by Victor Frond

Victor Frond (1821-1881) was a French Republican who lived in exile during the Second Empire. Following a stint in Lisbon, he moved to Brazil, opening a photography studio by 1857. Frond photographed the Brazilian landscape and population. From the glass plate negatives he printed lithographs, which he bound into a book, Brazil Pittoresco, with commentary by Charles Ribeyrolles (1812-1860). Frond’s photos were also used to create a separate Album du Brésil, printed in France in 1860.

  • Album du Brésil (F2521 .R48 Case Z)

Brazilian album by George Huebner & Libano Amaral

Born in Germany, Huebner (1862-1935) moved to Brazil in 1885 and opened a studio in Manaus in 1898. In 1906, he relocated to Belém, where he and Libano Amaral acquired the studio of Portuguese photographer Felipe Augusto Fidanza (1847-1903). Shortly after, Huebner and Amaral created an album showing the Cia. Nacional de Navegação and Viana Island in Guanabara Bay.

Brazilian album by George Leuzinger

Native to Switzerland, Leuzinger (1813-1892) migrated to Brazil in 1832. In 1840, he acquired a stationary store, which he later turned into a print shop and eventually a photography studio. He photographed Rio de Janeiro and its surroundings. He also employed German photographer Albert Frisch (1840-1918) and Brazilian photographer Marc Ferrez (1843-1923).

Brazilian album depicting Paraná by unknown photographer

Entitled “Views of Paraná,” this album contains photography of Paraná, a state in southern Brazil, ca. 1912-1916. Many of the photos show the Estrada de Ferro do Paraná or Paraná Railroad; the company likely commissioned them. Some images, however, depict the indigenous Kaingáng in Rios das Cobras. Others picture so-called “Fanaticos,” participants in the Contestado Rebellion, a messianic peasant movement that included discharged railroad workers.

Brazilian and Uruguayan albums owned by William B. Caperton

Tennessee native William B. Caperton (1855-1941) was an Admiral in the US Navy who patrolled the eastern coast of South America during World War I. He owned multiple photo albums, presumably gifts. Two picture Rio de Janeiro, where Caperton was instrumental in getting Brazil to declare war on Germany. Another depicts Caperton’s visit to Montevideo in July of 1917. It was created by El Día, a newspaper founded by the former president of Uruguay, José Batlle y Ordóñez. In addition to these albums, Caperton owned photographic postcards and other small prints showing Haiti; Caperton led the US Naval intervention in Haiti in 1915 and a subsequent intervention in Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic) a year later.

Central American album by Eadweard Muybridge

In 1875, Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), an English-born photographer living in the United States, traveled to Central America aboard a ship operated by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. He made stops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, taking photos along the way. These photos were later bound into an album in the library’s Panama Canal Zone collection. Also see Central American stereographs by Muybridge.

Chilean album by Alberto Mota

Mota, who lived in Antofagasta, a port city in northern Chile, photographed the nitrate industry in Tocopilla to the north. Modernist in style, his photos were compiled into an album. Several were also exhibited in Viña del Mar in central Chile.

Colombian albums depicting the Quiebra Tunnel, Joseph C. Hilton and family

This collection contains three photo albums, two picturing the construction of the Túnel de la Quiebra or Quiebra Tunnel in El Limon, Colombia. Built in the early- to mid-twentieth century, the tunnel was used by the Ferrocarril de Antioquia or Antioquia Railway, which connected Medellín to Puerto Berrío. The third album shows American engineer Joseph C. Hilton and his family. Fraser Brace Ltd., a Canadian firm operating out of the New York, employed Hilton to help manage its work on the tunnel.

Guatemalan album by Francisco Javier Rodas

In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed retired Army Major General George W. Davis as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Guatemala, where he observed the opening of the Interoceanic Railway. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched Davis to Guatemala again in 1914. While in Guatemala either in 1908 or 1914, Davis acquired an album by local photographer Francisco Javier Rodas which he later gave to the Library of Congress. The album depicts indigenous Guatemalans and includes hand-painted decorations.

Haitian album by A. d’Othon Hartmann

Traveling daguerreotypist A. d’Othon Hartmann visited Haiti in 1852 and photographed the coronation of Haitian Emperor Faustin Soulouque. Recorded on silver-coated copper plates, the photographs, now presumed lost, were used to print lithographs that were later bound to create the Album Impériale d’Haïti. This album was given to the Library by Celestine Bencomo, who served as the Cuban Chargé d’Affaires in Port-au-Prince. Bencomo also donated a collection of nineteenth and early-twentieth century Haitian manuscripts and studio photography, which is preserved in the Manuscript Division.

Mexican albums by Manuel Buen-Abad

Born in Spain, Buen-Abad (d.1892) migrated to Mexico, where he attended the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. By 1878, he had his own studio, and in ten years’ time he was teaching others to draw. Buen-Abad created two photo albums now at the Library of Congress. One depicts people, places, and plant specimens throughout Mexico, while the other shows the interior of the Academia where Buen-Abad previously studied. This collection also includes mounted photos of museum artifacts, small photos, and photographic postcards.

Mexican album by William Henry Jackson

Born in Keeseville, New York, Jackson (1843-1942) was a veteran of the American Civil War, a onetime bullwhacker, a painter, and a landscape photographer. In 1883 and again in 1884, he visited Mexico to photograph the Ferrocarril Central Mexicano or Mexican Central Railway. Addressed to Helen Henderson Chain (1849-1892), an artist living in Colorado where Jackson owned a photography studio, this album contains photos taken by Jackson and a lesser-known “Scott” in Mexico and the southwestern United States. One image is believed to depict Chain painting.

Mexican album by Ponce de León

This accordion album contains 95 photographic postcards signed by photographer Ponce de León. It shows public works underway in Acapulco in southwest Mexico. The album is part of a larger collection that includes other postcards of Mexico by Hugo Brehme (1882-1954), Sabino Osuna, and Mauricio Yáñez (1882-1939). Also see a separate collection with photographs and postcards of the U.S. Mexican border during the Mexican Revolution.

Peruvian albums by Eugenio and Aquiles Courret

Founded in 1863 by French immigrants, brothers Eugenio (b.1841) and Aquiles Courret, Courret Hermanos was a leading photography studio in Lima, Peru in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. In 1868, it created two albums entitled Recuerdos del Peru. They contain views of Lima, Arequipa, Arica (now Chile) and also La Paz in Bolivia. One depicts the damage caused by the 1868 Arica earthquake. Also see the cartes-de-visite by Courret Hermanos.

South American, Central American, & Caribbean albums by Charles D. Thurston

Thurston was an American textile merchant with headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida and Buenos Aires, Argentina in the early- to mid-twentieth century. He traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, taking snapshots in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The photos are mounted in six albums with commentary. Two additional albums picture Thurston’s travels in Europe and the United States.

Uruguayan album by Galli y Cia.

Published in 1875 by Galli y Cia. in Uruguay, the album Recuerdo de Montevideo contains woodburytypes by unnamed photographers depicting city streets, landmarks, and buildings. It is among the most detailed early visual representations of Uruguay created from photographs.