Glass Plate Negatives 

Glass Photographic Plates were the standard in professional photography for much of the late 19th and early 20th century. Glass Plates, treated with photosensitive emulsions, acted as the "film" in large specialized cameras which photographers painstakingly carted across Greene County in order to capture one-of-a-kind images of its scenery, people, and industry.

Please refer to the links below for access to sample galleries of recently digitized work by some of the County's most prolific photographers. The complete collections of these photographers are extensive and fully available in digital format on-site at the Vedder Research Library.


Paul R. Morrison

Working with incredibly high-quality equipment, Paul Morrison of Catskill captured remarkable scenes of Greene County's heavy industry at the dawn of the 20th century.

William Coursen

Often traveling far and wide from his studio in Cairo, William Coursen captured the scenery and environs of the region's grand resorts and tourist destinations.


James H. Van Gelder

Catskill Resident James H. Van Gelder, illustrated lecturer and entrepreneur, spent time photographing scenes around town at the dawn of the 20th century.