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About this collection

This extraordinary collection documents 100 years of history in and around Natchez and contains approximately 20,000 images including wet and dry collodion glass plate negatives, film negatives, ferrotypes, and historic and modern prints as well as nearly 100 pieces of photographic equipment, including a Norman Studio portrait camera and an array of late-19th and early-20th century cameras. Also on exhibition are more than 20 hand-tinted photographs by Dr. Gandy, on loan from Joan Gandy of Natchez. The photographs, drawn from a recent acquisition of the Dr. Thomas H. and Joan Gandy Photograph Collection by the LSU Libraries Special Collections division, will provide answers to such questions as: What did Natchez-Under-the-Hill look like in the late 1800s? How did people dress to have their pictures taken? What tools did photographers use? How had those things changed by the 1940s? Brothers Henry and M. J. Gurney established a daguerreotype studio in Natchez in 1851 and began recording the lives of their fellow citizens using the latest in photographic technology. The Civil War brought economic disaster and social upheaval to the region, but Natchez quickly recovered. In 1870, Henry Gurney hired a new employee, Henry Norman, and by 1876 Norman had opened his own studio, buying out Gurney's studio to do so. Henry Norman became the best-known photographer in the region. When he died in 1913, his son Earl inherited the studio. Earl, like his father, became widely known for his photographic skills and left images spanning nearly 40 years.

 
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