Source Information New York, Cartes-de-visite, 1860-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data: New York in the Civil War, Cartes-de-visite. Saratoga Springs, New York: New York State Military Museum.

About New York, Cartes-de-visite, 1860-1865

This database contains a collection of cartes-de-visite for Civil War-era soldiers from New York State.

Historical Background

The carte-de-visite (CDV) is a 2.5" x 3.5" photo mounted on a card measuring 2.5" by 4". The process was patented in France in 1854, and the cards appeared in the United States in 1859, just before the Civil War. Because the process produced eight (or twelve) negatives at the same time on a single photographic plate, it was an economical way to mass produce small photos that could easily be shared as keepsakes, and they became popular worldwide.

What You Can Find in the Records

The cards in this collection are Civil War-era portraits of men from New York State. There are typically three images associated with each name: a cover page that usually includes name, rank, and unit information; the photo itself; and the back of the photo, which sometimes contains additional writing.