Skip to main content

William Welling Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2010.709

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The papers of William Welling document his career as a photographic historian. Welling worked as a journalist for the Hamden Chronicle from 1949-1950 and several of his articles are included in the collection. Series 2 holds correspondence between Welling and prominent photographic historians Helmut Gernsheim (1913-1995) of Lugano, Switzerland and George R. Rinhart. Series 3 includes Welling's extensive collection of photographic history research primarily on the 19th century for his books A Collector's Guide to Nineteenth Century Photographs (1976) and Photography in America: The Formative Years, 1839-1900 (1978). Series 4 and 5 are papers related to the production, promotion, and sale of these two works, while series 6 includes copies of photographs and negatives used for the books. Series 7 includes several years worth of photographic history journals the majority of which are "Photographica" and "In Focus." Series 8 and 9 include research related to other book projects that Welling aspired to write, but did not complete.


  • Creation: 1949-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1970s, 1980s


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

William Blodget Welling of New York City was born February 20, 1924 to Lindsay H. Welling (1892-1975) and Lucy Randolph Blodget (1889-1957). He worked as a journalist for the Hamden Chronicle from 1949-1950. Welling was a photographic historian. William Welling died April 15, 2006.

Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: William Blodget Welling


5.40 Linear Feet

Custodial History:

The collection was consigned to Swann Auction Gallery in New York City by a family member who was executor of the estate of William Welling. The donor purchased it from Swann Auction Gallery and it was donated to the Special Collections Research Center in 2010, "a few years later."

Related Materials:

Sixty-Seventh Field Hospital Collection (Mss. Acc. 2008.35)

Separated Materials:

Books removed from the collection:


Los Angeles: The Old and the New, J.E. Scott, 1911;


Advanced Research: Key to the Future, NASA Langley Research Center, c.1964;


Kodak Master Photoguide, Eastman Kodak Company, 1968;


Portrait of a Decade: Roy Stryker and the Development of Documentary Photography in the Thirties, F. Jack Hurley, 1972 Louisiana State University Press, New York;


William H. Fox Talbot: Inventor of the Negative-Postive Process, Andre Jammes, Macmillan Publishing, New York, 1972;


Collecting Photographica: The Images and Equipment of the First Hundred Years of Photography, George Gilbert, 1976, Elsevier-Dutton Publishing, With inside cover page inscription “To Bill… who has shown me what a REAL photohistory book should be like in his tremendous work. George Gilbert 3/82”;

Marketplace: A Brief History of the New York Stock Exchange, 1982;


Journey: 75 Years of Kodak Research, Eastman Kodak Company, 1989;


The Texture of Tribeca, Andrew Scott Dolkat, Enterprise Press, 1989;


Rocketry and Space Flight: Fiction into Fact, 1998;


A second copy of the paperback edition of Photography in America by Welling was removed;

A second 1978 hardback copy of Photography in America by William Welling was falling apart and discarded.

Processing Information:

Processed and finding aid written by Austin William Smith in February and March 2011.

Guide to the William Welling Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Austin W. Smith, Graduate Student Assistant.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository