Title: George W. Perry Scrapbooks, 1847-1960
Creator: Perry, George W., 1891-1971
Creator Role: Collector
Accession / Call Number: 1974.045
Object ID: 1974.045
Bulk Dates: 1880-1915
Physical Description: 12 boxes; 5 linear feet
Level of Description: Collection
Scope and Content: George W. Perry collected approximately 1,900 images, mostly of Concord, NH, but also including few nearby towns (Bow, Penacook). He was interested primarily in residential homes and neighborhoods and in the built structures of the greater Concord area (stores, factories, hotels, government buildings, schools, libraries, parks, cemeteries). Along the way, he also collected images of celebrations, mostly parades and similar public events. The photographs cluster in the 1880-1915 time period, though there are also some images from before and after. Perry annotated the photographs, sometimes at great length. He always provided location (often specific street addresses) and date of the photograph. For some buildings, he gave the history of its construction and, if applicable, its demolition. There are biographies of home and business owners and even of individuals whose gravestones were photographed in cemeteries. As rich as this information is, there are surprising gaps in what Perry documented. There is no coverage of political campaigns (though sitting officials are occasionally present and identified in celebratory images) or of American participation in any of the wars during the period for which he was collecting (Spanish-American, World War I, World War II). Civil War veterans are shown marching in parades but otherwise no attention is paid to them or to monuments celebrating their service. The depressions of the 1870s, 1890s, and 1930s are not addressed in any way. The homes and neighborhoods he was interested in were those of the traditional white elites; working class housing is included only incidentally in larger composed images such as aerial photographs. This collection is not a place to seek depictions of poverty, immigrant populations, or working class people except as they are seen incidentally (construction workers removing snow or employees lined up outside their workplace), nor does it include depictions of rural life (farms, farm work) unless of hotels or summer cottages in the country. There are no portraits and few images of children.
Arrangment: The photographs were at some point removed from their original arrangement in scrapbooks and filed by subject. In 2015, they were retrieved from the subject files, sorted into groups that constituted the original scrapbooks, and placed in folders by scrapbook.
The scrapbooks were originally numbered and titled; these numbers and titles have been used to create the order into which the folders are organized. Note, however, that the numbers are not consecutive, as some books contained non-photographic materials such as newspaper clippings.
Some scrapbook groups required more than one folder, in which case the folders are numbered #x of x. The arrangement of the images within the original scrapbooks, however, is unknown
Locations: Concord, NH
Credit Line: Gift of May Nutter.
Location Code: TL/1WX
Restrictions: Available for research.
Preferred Citation: George W. Perry Scrapbooks, 1974.045. New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH. Date accessed.