This photograph album currently contains 73 photographs taken between 1856 and 1894 and mounted on 16 leaves by Leslie Stephen in 1895. The photographs document the family of British author and editor Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), including his first marriage to Harriet Marian Thackeray Stephen (1840-1875) and their daughter Laura Makepeace Stephen (1870-1945). In addition, the album contains early images of Julia Prinsep Jackson, her family, and her first marriage to Herbert Duckworth (1833-1870), including their children George Duckworth (1868-1934), Stella Duckworth (1869-1897), and Gerald Duckworth (1870-1937). The final four leaves document the marriage of Julia Duckworth Stephen (1846-1895) to Leslie Stephen. They also contain early photographs of their children, including Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), Thoby Stephen (1880-1906), Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), and Adrian Stephen (1883-1948). There are also photographs of friends of the family including James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) and Henry James (1843-1916). The album records Victorian fashion, including mourning customs and outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing.
There are a few prints by famous photographers, including Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (1852-1911), Camille Silvy (1834-1910), Gabriel Loppé, Oscar G. Rejlander (1813-1875), and Lock & Whitfield. Most prints, however, are anonymous. A variety of photographic techniques are represented, including albumen, platinum, and silver prints. Many are undated. Most of the photographs were taken in England (Cornwall, London, Somerset, Sussex), but a few, mounted on the final leaf, were taken at Alpine resorts in Switzerland.
The album was compiled by Leslie Stephen after Julia Stephen's death on 5 May 1895. The list of contents, leaf numbers, and captions are written in Leslie Stephen's autograph.
The album was purchased at auction on 6 December 1984 (Sotheby's, London, lot 289) and presented to the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College, by Elizabeth Power Richardson and Phyllis Cooley Paige in memory of Mary Byers Smith. Twenty-three leaves were removed before the London sale and disbursed, including many photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron.
Compiled circa 1895. 39 leaves; 57 x 46 cm. Leaves 1-15, 18-23, 26-27 and leather covers are lacking.