[Bridgeport, Connecticut: circa 1885-1897].
A unique collection of 87 glass lantern slides (permanent positive images) from the library of Isaac Holden, an important Connecticut based phycologist, and founding editor and contributor to the monumental: *Phycotheca Boreali-Americana: A Collection of Dried Specimens of the Algae of North America*. The collection consists of two sets (totaling nearly 60 slides) of images of dried marine algae specimens (“Exsiccatae”), and a set of about 25 slides taken in and around the town of St. John’s on the coast of Newfoundland. There are also a few slides of fauna, insects, and Holden as a dashing young man.
The marine algae specimens were collected by Holden at Seaside Park along the Connecticut coast and Long Island Sound in the mid-1880s. About half of the species are identified in manuscript with the Latin name, place, date, and Holden’s signature reproduced in the image. Three images have been dyed in red. It’s very likely that the unidentified specimens were collected by Holden and his close friend and colleague Frank Shipley Collins, who co-edited and also contributed to the *Phycotheca*. Both sets of specimens include a few charts and figures.
The set of Newfoundland views date from Holden’s 1897 trip to collect specimens of marine algae, many of which were distributed in the *Phycotheca*. The views are of the rocky coastline and adjoining seascapes, including a few snow-covered areas, and several images of fishermen and other inhabitants at work in the harbor or in boats along the coast.
The glass lantern slides measure 4” x 3¼” or 3¼” x 3¼” (a subset of about 20 specimen slides), consisting of the image plate and clear cover plate held together with plain paper folded over the edges. Many slides have glossy paper frames mounted in between the plates. The slides range in condition from fair to very good, with scattered spotting and soiling. Several of the original paper edges are detached or missing (a very few have been replaced with masking tape), about 15 slides lack most or all of the original paper edges and are separated, including a few lacking a cover plate. About five specimen slides are damaged, with cracks to the glass and some deterioration to the image. About half are housed in a contemporary wooden box with chromolithographic labels from Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A unique and historically important research collection of early photographic images of marine algae, and of the remote coastline of Newfoundland. The collection is divided into four sections:
Set 1. (40 slides): North American Algae Specimens & Miscellaneous: Images of various types of seaweed and related algae.
Set 2. (18 slides, including three dyed in red): Seaweed and related algae, signed and dated in the image: “Bridgeport, Conn., 1885”.
Subset 3. (4 slides): Fauna/insects.
Set 4. (25 slides): Views of Newfoundland: Images of St. Johns, Newfoundland and vicinity: about half include local people. There are also five additional slides reproducing various maps.