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Spencer Family Photographs

What's online?

The Spencer Family online collection contains images taken by Charles Spencer from 1896 through 1911 showing the Spencer family working and playing in and around their home in Shadyside on Amberson Avenue.

Images were selected that depicted the life of an upper middle-class family in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Images chosen focus on the children engaged in some interesting activity that was staged by their father, Charles Hart Spencer, as well as other activities associated with their life in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

What's in the entire collection?

The collection, held by the Archives Service Center (ASC) at the University of Pittsburgh, comprises nine scrapbooks of 1,275 photographs taken between 1896 and 1911. The photographs primarily show the family at their Shadyside home and on vacation in the eastern United States. Charles Spencer's family photographs are an intimate document of middle class family life in Pittsburgh. Beyond this, they are a creative body of work that reflects his artistry, sensitivity, and mastery of a relatively new medium. His photographs are carefully composed and demonstrate his attention not only to the artistic but technical dimensions of photography. Read more...

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