Format Highlights: Cabinet Cards
by Greta Bahnemann, Metadata Librarian, Minnesota Digital Library, Minitex
eLibrary Minnesota Resources (for Minnesota residents)
1. Petipas, Katherine. "Cool Things in the Collection: Hall & Lowe Cabinet Cards." Manitoba History, no. 74, Winter2014, pp. 52-53. EBSCOhost, Accessed 15 August 2017.
2. "What is a Cabinet Card?" Michigan History Magazine, vol. 84, no. 4, 2000, p. 44+. Student Resources in Context. Accessed 15 August 2017.
Additional Resources for Research
1. Clark, Gary. "Cabinet Card: Beginning of Modern Potrait Photography." PhotoTree.com Accessed 29 August 2017.
2. Harding, Colin. "How to Sport a Cabinet Card (1866-circa 1914)." September 2013. Science + Media Museum blog. Accessed 29 August 2017.
3. Harding, Colin. "How to Spot a Carte de Visite (Late 1850s - circa 1910)." September 2013. Science + Media Museum blog. Accessed 29 August 2017.
4. “The Cabinet Card Gallery: Viewing History, Culture, and Personalities Through Cabinet Card Images.” The Cabinet Card Gallery. Accessed 30 Aug. 2017.
Teaching Guide: Format Highlights: Cabinet Cards
Primary Source Analysis
For each source, ask students to indicate:
- the author's point of view
- the author's purpose
- historical context
For inquiry-based learning, ask students to:
- explain how a source tells its story and/or makes its argument
- explain the relationships between sources
- compare and contrast sources in terms of point of view and method
- support conclusions and interpretations with evidence
- identify questions for further investigation
This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, Format Highlights: Cabinet Cards , in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.
1. Look closely at image #18. Why do you think a family would ask a photographer to take a photograph of a deceased family member?
2. Discuss how photography has evolved during the last 25 years with the invention of digital cameras, camera phones, and social media. How has the practice of taking photographs changed as well as the sharing, displaying, and distribution of images?
1. Design a cardboard mount that you could use for displaying your own photographs. Does the act of creating a decorative photograph and displaying it someplace change the meaning of a image?
2. After examining the resources in this set, ask students to write a short essay on the impact of professional photography in response to the following prompt: How did professional-created studio photography change the documentation of historic events, people, geographic places in the late 19th century? How have technological advances in cell phone cameras changed things even further into the twenty-first century?