November 29, 2007

Miller's "Photographic History of the Civil War"

The Yale Daily News has an online article which discusses Civil War photography scholar Alan Trachtenberg's paper and workshop entitled “Civil War Photographs as History." Trachtenberg's paper and workshop were based on his criticism of the “Photographic History of the Civil War,” a 10-volume text published in 1912 by Francis Trevelyan Miller and focused on the interplay between image and text within this work.

Miller's work is widely considered as the preeminent collection of Civil War photographs. ACW book collectors and students of Civil War photographs should be aware that the quality and clarity of the Miller's 1912 first edition far surpasses all other modern reprints. As I understand it, most or all of the original plates and negatives were destroyed following publication of the original work. All modern reprints are simply copied from the original photographs, resulting in a lower quality image.

1 comment:

Amy Lindsey said...

Actually, the first edition was published in 1911. I have an original, autographed set of all 10 books.