History & Tourism

Glass Negatives From The Sherman Room Featured Online

17 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

The folks at The Sherman Room at the Main Branch of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library have placed several new images online.

What is different than usual is that these photos are not from prints or slides, rather they are images obtained from glass plate negatives, a photographic technique used from the Civil War era through the early years of the 20th century.

These plates are much different than the thin film negatives that 35mm camera users might be familiar with; they are exactly as described – a negative printed on a glass plate. The plates came in “wet” and “dry” versions, the difference being whether or not the emulsion applied to the glass was wet when placed into a camera.

As with daguerreotypes, the images created via this process can reveal a substantial amount of detail.

Most were dry negatives, which were easier to transport and required less exposure to light. Such plates are a bit of a challenge to store and handle, as this guide from the National Archives details.

The Sherman Room collection includes images or the following:

  • Days on the Farm
  • Single Shots – Getting just the right pose
  • A Congregation, Congregating
  • Buildings and Explorations
  • Houses Near and Far

You can view the Sherman Room collection here. The main Sherman Room page can be accessed here.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

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