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About the Detroit Publishing Company Collection

The Detroit Publishing Company Collection at The Henry Ford:

The Henry Ford acquired the remaining Detroit Publishing Company materials in 1937 from the estate of Robert B. Livingstone.   At the insistence of William H. Jackson's son, Clarence, a decade later the museum donated the negatives to the Colorado Historical Society but kept the prints.  The Colorado Historical Society retained the Western views but donated the negatives of Eastern United States and foreign views to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1949.

The material in the museum’s collection today consists of 30,000 vintage photographic prints, 15,000 postcards, and 5,000 color and sepia lithographic prints.  The photographs are contact prints made by the company from the original glass-plate negatives.  They often contain written information about the topic and the photographer, instructions concerning reproduction methods and retouching marks.

Henry Ford Museum presented an exhibit about this company, “Photographer to the World—The Detroit Publishing Company”, from June 1, 2001 through January 6, 2002.  Part of the Detroit 300 celebration, the exhibit featured over 100 prints and photographs.  This current online exhibit is based on the museum exhibit and includes over 250 prints, photographs, postcards and documents relating to Detroit Publishing Company.  The website was created in 2002 and was funded, in part, by a grant from the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET).

For additional information about the Detroit Publishing Company Collection:

Collections Webpages
June 2001 Pic of the Month
Contact the Benson Ford Research Center

Copyright © 2003 The Henry Ford        Last Updated:  11/17/2008