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John Hiller lantern slide collection

Object Details

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John Hiller lantern slide collection
Hiller, John
circa 1910-1920
John Hiller, an employee in the Smithsonian's Office of Exhibits Central, donated the collection to the Archives of American Gardens in 2005. The collection had been on deposit in the Archives for a few years prior to it being formally donated.
Custodial History note
John Hiller, an employee in the Smithsonian's Office of Exhibits Central, acquired the collection from John Wellemeyer sometime in the 1990s. According to Hiller, Wellemeyer was involved with filmmaking and purchased the box of autochromes at a yard sale, possibly in Alexandria, Virginia.
0.75 Cubic feet (216 lantern slides:, color autochromes; , 3.25 x 4 inches.)
The John Hiller Lantern Slide Collection contains 216 glass autochromes dated circa 1910-1920 documenting homes and gardens, house interiors, scenes from domestic and foreign travel, flower arrangements, and people in Europe and unidentified locations.
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Lantern slides
Autochromes (photographs)
Original Classification Scheme
The autochromes in the John Hiller Collection were originally housed in a wooden box divided into ten sections. A sheet of typewritten numbered image captions was pasted to the inside of the hinged box lid. Many of the autochromes bear a hand-written alpha-numeric code on their border (e.g. A-17, D-11, etc.) that is keyed to a specific caption. A few images have a small sticker with a hand-written number affixed to them. The sheet of image captions lists four broad subject categories at the top: House & Garden, Copies, Experimental, and Portraits. Below these are listed individual captions for (87) European sites. While the subject categories are written in English, some of the captions feature foreign words (Suisse for Switzerland, Wien for Vienna, etc.) The autochromes were found in no discernible order and did not follow the order of the numbered captions.
Scope and Contents Note
The John Hiller Collection contains 216 glass autochromes dated c. 1910-1920. The images cover a wide array of subjects and regions, with many of them showing landscapes and travel destinations. Some show house interiors, flower arrangements, or casual groups of people. Several of the autochromes show historic towns and ruins in Greece and Switzerland along with some in Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria and Austria. Scattered amongst these are slides of various unidentified sites and gardens. It is not known if any of the unidentified images show sites in the United States. The photographer(s) of these images is unknown. The uniformity of the type of tape used to seal each of the autochromes suggests that the images are likely the work of one photographer or photo studio rather than a collection compiled by an individual from multiple sources.
Lantern slides
Autochromes (photographs)
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
While most of the lantern slides are autochromes, there is a possibility that some are dioptichromes.
Hiller, John
Gardens -- Europe
Cultural landscapes
Flower arrangement
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, John Hiller lantern slide collection.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
Record ID
Albania/Greece -- valley
Finding aid
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