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[Detail] United States Capitol [ca 1846]


Collection Overview

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotypes, 1839-1864, includes images captured with one of the earliest photographic techniques. The images show portraits of politicians and activists (including Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas), laborers, early views of the U.S. Capitol, and African Americans who became leaders in Liberia.

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You may go directly to the collection, Daguerreotypes, in American Memory.

Special Features

These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.

Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877

Related Collections and Exhibits

These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Also browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.

Other Resources

Recommended additional sources of information.

There are currently no other resources for this collection

Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection.

Search on American Colonization Society for portraits of African Americans who colonized Liberia.

Search on congressman, senator for portraits of elected officials.

Search on occupational portrait for images of laborers with the tools of their trades.

Search on individuals by name.

For help with search words and names, go to America's First Look at the Camera: Daguerreotypes, 1839-1864 Subject Index.

For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.