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F. Holland Day papers, 1858-1977

F. Holland Day papers, 1858-1977

Day, F. Holland (Fred Holland), 1864-1933



Collection Information

Size: 9 microfilm reels.

Summary: Extensive correspondence and subject files, ca. 1864-1977, containing mainly letters received from photographers, photography clubs and societies, authors, friends, models, colleagues, and others, and some drafts of letters sent. Some of the files contain writings, printed material, photographs, or correspondence of the Norwood Historical Society, 1961-1977. The correspondence refers to Day's photography, the 1904 fire which destroyed Day's studio, his involvement with literary groups and the Linked Ring, requests for articles on photography from publishers, requests for Day to exhibit and judge photography exhibitions, his interest in John Keats and collecting Keatsiana, and fine printing and his firm Copeland and Day.

Several notable files are "Day," containing correspondence, letters from his father, Lewis Day, 1870-1904, writings by Day, "Is Photography Art?", "Sacred Subjects in Photography," and reviews and essays Day contributed to "Knight Errant," an article on Day by Ralph Hazell, "A Visit to Mr. Fred Holland Day," 1899, clippings on Day, 1899-1935, and an annotated photograph regarding Day's photo collaboration with Estelle Baston. "Photography" containing: letters from Roger Clark, George C. Cox, Sylvester Rosa Koehler, Charlotte Perkins, Robert Redfield, Mathilde Weil and others, exhibition catalogs and announcements, undated and 1901-1902; "Gertrude Kasebier," consisting of a letter from Arthur B. Davies to Day and her own letters to Day, which give a sense of tension between Day and Alfred Stieglitz, and her own frustration with Stieglitz; "Ralph Adams Cram," with correspondence, 4 photos of Cram, excerpts from his book "My Life in Architecture," and obituaries; and "Copeland and Day," containing correspondence with authors and artists, material on book and printing exhibitions, and letters from customers.

Other notable subjects and/or correspondents include: C. Yarnell Abbott, W. Fred Allen, Anthony Angotti, J. Williams Beall, Curtis Bell, Lord Alfred Douglas, Edgar Farwell, Kahil Gibran, Bertram Goodhue, Laura Hills, Maxfield Parrish, William Ordway Partridge, Eva L. Watson Schutze and Anne Whitney.

Also included are ca. 150 photographs and tintypes of Day, 1865-ca.1930, some taken by Alvin Langdon Coburn, Reginald Craigie, Frederick H. Evans, Fred Hollyer, Gertrude Kasebier, Edward Steichen, Thomas Walter, Clarence White, and Jennie Woodbury; and photos of Lewis Day. Other photographs included are: photos by Day (and some probably by Day but unidentified), of Herbert Copeland, Anna Day Smith, Lewis Day, Alice Brown, Louise Guiney, and other subjects; photographs of Day's home in Norwood and his chalet in Maine; and photographs of various subjects by Frederick Evans, Gertrude Kasebier and Clarence White, Sr.

Biographical/Historical Note

Photographer; Norwood, Mass. Day began photography in the late 1880s. By 1895 he had established a reputation as a pictorial photographer, and was elected to the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. In 1900 he arranged in London the first major exhibition of pictorial photography in Europe. A fire in his Boston studio destroyed over 2,000 glass negatives in 1904, which ended his photography career. Day was also a collector of Keatsiana. He published fine books of poetry and other literary works at his firm of Copeland and Day from 1893-1899.


Material on reels 3565-66 was lent for microfilming by the Norwood Historical Society in 1985. Material on reels 4950-4956 was lent in 1994. Six letterpress books, files of his publishing firm of Copeland and Day, and a scrapbook of European travel clippings were not microfilmed.

Location of Originals

  • The original papers were donated by the Norwood Historical Society to the Library of Congress Manuscript Division in 2011.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

The collection was microfilmed in 1985 and 1994; microfilm reels 3565-3566 and 4950-4956 are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the materials on microfilm differs from the arrangement of the original papers housed in the Library of Congress.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

F. Holland Day papers, 1858-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.