Herman Detering History of Photography and Psychiatry collection

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Identity elements

Reference code

MS 203

Level of description

Collection

Title

Herman Detering History of Photography and Psychiatry collection

Date(s)

  • 1844-2003 (Creation)

Extent

10 cubic feet (12 boxes)

Name of creator

(1938-2015)

Biographical history

Herman Eberhard Detering, III, was born July 2, 1938, in Houston; his father H.E. Detering, Jr. (1902-1977) was also born in Houston and his grandfather H.E. Detering, Sr. (1862-1927), was born in Germany but came to Houston in 1871. Detering, Sr., was the founder of The Detering Company Building Supplies, which is still operated (as of 2020) by the family. H.E. Detering, III was the longtime owner of the Detering Book Gallery, a rare bookstore in the Houston area. He died March 21, 2015

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

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.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

For the most part, this collection is in excellent condition. Some carte de visites show fading, but for the most part the degradation is appropriate for the ages of the items.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission to publish from this material must be facilitated through the repository, McGovern Historical Center.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • French

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Inventory provided by donor contains listings of book collection and manuscript collection.

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Deed-1

The Detering Rare Book Collection was created and books shelved together in the HRC stacks. Archival materials were boxed and in appropriate sized boxes and shelved in the archival stacks and oversize sections.

Immediate source of acquisition

Mimi Crossley Detering, Herman E. Detering, III's wife, donated the 22 boxes of books, papers, photographs, magic lantern, and 19th-century camera.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

No accruals are expected for this collection.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Many of the print reproductions created by Mr. Detering are presumed to have been photographed from the Detering Rare Book Collection.

The University of Houston Libraries Special Collections holds the Detering Family and Business Papers (Collection #2014-009 https://findingaids.lib.uh.edu/repositories/2/resources/263 ) as well as the Detering Company Records (Collection #2015-005 https://findingaids.lib.uh.edu/repositories/2/resources/490).

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Herman Detering History of Photography and Psychiatry collection; MS 203; McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: The original Detering donation consisted of 25 cubic feet (22 boxes of manuscript material and books, a camera and stand, and a magic lantern.) Upon arrival at the McGovern Historical Center, the collection was separated into a manuscript collection (MS 203) and a book collection (RB 002). The book collection consists of books dating from 1601 to the late 20th century. The core of the book collection is from the 19th century.
  • Processing information: Processed by Nikki Garbett, fall 2022. Front matter updated by Matt Richardson, January 2023.

Alternative identifier(s)

TARO

00299

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Archivist's note

Minimally processed by Philip Montgomery, 2016.

Archivist's note

Processed by Nikki Garbett, fall 2022. Uploaded to AToM and front matter updated by Matt Richardson, January 2023.

Access points

Place access points

Accession area