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American voyage photograph albums

Identifier: C0256

Scope and Contents

This collection contains approximately 500 photographic prints in two bound volumes that document a trip to the United States, Mexico, and Canada by a French-speaking person or group sailing from Le Havre in Normandy, France. On the first page is handwritten "Voyage en Amerique, Avril-Mai 1904." The photographs include multiple views of U.S. cities including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Seattle. The images of Mexico include people, landscapes, and churches, including the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The images of Canada are largely rural and include Niagara Falls. The photographs also show multiple views from the railroad coach since that was the main mode of transportation used to travel across the country. There are also four unmounted prints that show Midtown Manhattan and New Orleans. They appear to be from the 1930s and unrelated to the rest of the photographs, although they have descriptions written in French on the back.


  • 1904, 1930s


Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the American voyage photograph album must be obtained from Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.

Historical Information

By the early 1900s, photographic technology was becoming significantly more advanced. As the Victoria and Albert Museum's page on photographic processes notes, gelatin-silver prints "by 1895 had generally replaced albumen prints because they were more stable, did not turn yellow, and were simpler to produce." Train travel during the early 1900s provided transportation with ease and efficiency that would have been unimaginable 50 years earlier. Transcontinental journeys that took months by wagon or by ship in 1850 could take only weeks by 1900, encouraging more recreational travel.


1 Linear Feet ( (2 boxes))

Language of Materials



Two photograph albums that document a trip through North America by French speakers in 1904.


Photographs are contained in two volumes, labeled "Amerique I" and "Amerique 2," and are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by George Mason University Libraries before 2008.


  • Victoria and Albert Museum, "Photographic Processes," accessed April 13, 2015.

Processing Information

Processing completed by Elizabeth Beckman in April 2015. EAD markup completed by Elizabeth Beckman in April 2015.

Guide to the American voyage photograph album, 1904, 1930s
American voyage photograph album
Elizabeth Beckman
April 13, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center Repository

Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax Virginia 22030 United States
703-993-8911 (Fax)