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Cartes de visite and cabinet card portraits

 Digital Collection
Identifier: dcpl_p025


  • Creation: 1880 - 1900


The Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Card Portraits Collection is a group of mounted portrait photographs created by various photography studios and photographers from approximately 1880 to 1900. The selections presented come from D.C. Public Library’s Card Mounted Photograph Collection and the National Rifles Scrapbook Collection and are some of the oldest photographs in the library’s historical collections.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions to accessing this digital collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Images from these collections are in the public domain.

Biographical / Historical

This small photographic format was mostly used for studio portraits which would be given to friends and family by the sitter. DC Public Library's collection of these images depict mostly men, in various backgrounds and dress, including individuals posed with penny-farthing bicycles and uniformed members of the National Rifles. The National Rifles, an independent company of the D.C. Militia, was organized in 1859 in the wake of John Brown’s raid and was the first company of citizen troops ordered into the Civil War in 1861.

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001