Barre (Mass.)

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Barre (Mass.)

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Barre (Mass.)

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Herman Detering History of Photography and Psychiatry collection

  • MS 203
  • Collection
  • 1844-2003

This collection reflects the interest Herman E. Detering, III, owner of the Detering Book Gallery, had in photography and psychiatry in the 19th century. A primary focus is on the treatment and study of people experiencing various forms of mental illness. Publications from numerous hospitals, asylums, and other organizations are included. The coverage includes the United States, France, England and other places in Europe.

The original materials Detering gathered include 19th century carte de visites, a collection of glass plate negatives from the 1920s, and postcards and other images related to hospitals and asylums. Accompanying the photographs are some realia, such as a magic lantern and a camera and stand, all of which are probably from the late 19th century. The collection also includes material related to Mr. Detering’s bookstore and his collecting activities, such as correspondence and invoices.

A significant portion of the collection consists of prints Detering created in preparation for to the exhibit "Photography and Psychiatry in the 19th Century." Curated by Mr. Detering for Houston FotoFest '88, the exhibit was on display from February 25 - March 25, 1988 at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX. In addition to various iterations of prints, there is also some correspondence related to exhibit preparation.

The Hermann Detering Book Collection on Psychiatry and Photography (McGovern Historical Center RB 002) has been separated from this archival collection. However, when those books were reviewed, ephemera found within their pages was removed, placed in archival folders, and kept with the archives. The folders were given numbers corresponding to the books in which the items were found.

Many of the prints and working documents in the collection were generated by Mr. Detering around the 1980s, but the source materials range widely in dates, going back at least to the 1800s.

Detering, Herman E., III