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Esther Mae Plumb photograph collection

Identifier: 2009-08

Scope and Contents

This collections consists of an album with a red velvet cover which is quite worn. The spine is not stable. Each page is decorated with the identical design, being a combination of spider webs, plants, flowers, mushrooms, snails, fairies, etc. The patent application date listed is 1887.

The images within the album are in fine condition overall. The types of photographic images include cartes de visites, cabinet cards, and portraits revolving around singer Esther Mae Plumb and her family including Davenport residents.

Donor provided identification. Some may be more accurate than others. Surnames included in identification of album images are Plumb, Houghton, Andrews.

Several loose cartes de visites were included. Most were taken in England and surnames are identified with the surnames of Whalley and Harrison. Possible that they fell out of the album at some point.

In most cases, dates were determined by photography studio, attire, and attributes of CDV or cabinet cards including color, ink, corners, border and so forth.


  • 1860-1920

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

For more information about this collection, please consult with a Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center staff member.

Esther Mae Plumb was born in Iowa on November 13, 1872 and died in Davenport, Iowa on July 15, 1957. She was a contralto and became a professional singer and teacher, working with the Tri-City Symphony at their first concert in 1916. She lived in Chicago and New York.


60 images (in 1 flat clamshell box) : Collection includes red Victorian era album of cabinet cards, cartes de visites, tintypes, loose images that may have been in the album at one time, and research/identification compiled by donors and DPL.

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Range 38 Section 6

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States

About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902