Daguerreian Texts

We are happy to present this broad selection of 19th and 20th century texts about the daguerreotype. Some text are presented with their original illustrations. It is our goal to make available difficult-to-locate texts that will be both enjoyable to read as well as useful for research.

As the number of texts offered here nears one hundred, we've found it necessary to arrange this page as a topical index of the texts. Catagorization is a rather inexact science and you may be wise to look through all the topics.

Some of the texts offered here are also available as PDF files. Links to those files will be noted on the individual text page.

A note regarding use of these texts is provided below. Due to the content of a couple of our texts, we have prepared a disclaimer, also below

The first two years (1839-1840)

Contemporary accounts and anecdotes


Biographies / Reviews



Science and processes


Works of fiction



20th century daguerreotypy

From our Annual


Some of the texts we reprint may contain the use of derogatory racial slurs. Any such word is certainly one that we would choose not to use today. The words remain in the reprint, however, because that is how the text was originally written. Although times have changed, if we are to understand history by studying it, then we must be able to read documents as originally written, without any attempt at cleansing. We do not reprint any text to offend anyone; rather, we hope that our texts shed a sharper light on our cultural past.

A note regarding our texts:

These text files were prepared on behalf of the Daguerreian Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the history, art and science of the daguerreotype. They are made available free to the public via the World Wide Web. The transcript of this public-domain text is believed to be free of transcription error. All spelling/punctuation/grammatical errors in the original are generally maintained; the transcription may or may not make note of any such errors. The text of these transcriptions is public-domain material and may be freely used and quoted. It is advised, however, that if a text is used in academic papers, it should be confirmed for correctness by consulting original sources or microfilm; For this cause we have provided source citation where possible. The digital text files, or "etext," are property of The Daguerreian Society and may not be used for any "for-profit" venture without express permission by The Daguerreian Society. THIS DIGITAL TEXT FILE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS". NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE TEXT FILE OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

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