The Marcia Henderson Pendleton Collection
Thumbnails images of the objects described in the catalog are here.
Most of the photographs in this collection (catalog numbers p230-294) come from an old album titled "Seymour and Annie." Seymour was the son of Swain and Sophia Nelson and the brother-in-law of Anders Gyllenhaal. The album is now owned by Jennifer Pendleton Redmile (Charlotte, North Carolina), and the loose photographs by her mother Marcia Henderson Pendleton (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania). With a single exception (p315), all of the photographs in the collection are originals and not modern copies.
The "Seymour and Annie" album is of the classic 19th century "cabinet card" variety, with photographs dating from the 1860s through the turn of the century. Albums like this one were created as a memorial or as a form of entertainment. Cabinet card albums resembled family bibles in size, and they often had velvet or leather covers with gilded embelishments. The photographs were inserted into the cutouts that were provided in the album; in the "Seymour and Annie" album these cutouts are found in a number of different shapes and sizes. There are also a few tintypes in the album (p261-p263). Tintype photos received their name because tin shears were used to cut the pictures out of the iron plate that held the image.
The individuals pictured are almost all Nelsons and Gyllenhaals from Chicago and (later) Glenview, Illinois, with a few other relatives and friends included. A few of the photographs were taken in Sweden. Both the Nelsons and Gyllenhaals were Swedish-American, and undoubtedly photographs were occasionally exchanged with Swedish relatives along with letters. The relationships of the most of the individuals in the collection can be ascertained from the "Autobiography of Swain Nelson," a document in the Archives of the Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. A simple genealogical table has been provided for both the Nelson and Gyllenhaal families (see the Family Group field in the catalog).
To preserve the photographs they were removed from the album in August of 2000, placed in Polyethylene transparent sleeves,* and then numbered and cataloged. Most of the photograph identifications in the catalog are based on notations written in the album or on the backs of the photographs themselves. Several different handwritings are evident--some are contemporary with the creation of the photos and some are much later. The identifications of individuals in the Description field of the catalog should not be considered definitive, but are provided as an easy reference. Individuals are listed as they appear in the photographs from left to right. The notations on the photographs or in the album should be consulted whenever the identity of an individual is in doubt. In order to preserve the contexts of the photographs in relation to each other and to the album notations, photocopies were made of the entire album before the photographs were removed. The numbering system used is that of The Gyllenhaal Family Tree Project's photo archives (p = print).
Copies of each photograph have been made in several different media. As mentioned above, each has been photocopied while still in the album to preserve its original context. Each has also been photographed on a copystand with a 35mm SLR camera (100 ASA Kodak Color Gold). And each has been scanned into a computer using a flatbed scanner (Epson Perfection 1200 Photo).
Two different digitized images have been produced for each photograph:
The Master Images are the archival copies, scanned at 600 dpi. The format used was TIFF; pixel depth was 8-bit grey for black and white and 24-bit for color. The file size of each of these master images is substantial, often as high as 30 megabytes. They are suitable for printing on photographic paper at any professional developer. Many of them would benefit from some retouching before printing.
The Access Images are intended for viewing on computer screens and for making low-quality printouts. The format used was JPEG. They are generally 500 pixels across for "portrait" images, and 600 pixels across for "landscape" images. These images have been optimized for speed of downloading, and therefore do not contain the same level of detail as the Master images.
The backs of the photographs have not been photographed or scanned, but photocopies have been made to preserve the handwritten notations and the printed information about the photographic studios.
--Ed Gyllenhaal, September 2000, The Gyllenhaal Family Tree Project
*These are 5x7" 2mil Polyethylene envelopes, No. YB-PNP57 from Gaylord Archival (1-800-448-6160).
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