The Zabriskie Collection

Charles Fredrick Zabriskie (1848-1914) was born in New York City.  He met Minnie Burt Rogers (1856-1943) while summering at the Sulphur Springs Resort in Richfield Springs. They were married in 1883. They had two children, Anita Louise (1885-1968), and Charles Lemaire (1893-1977).

Zabriskie’s work reflected the new period of amateur photography. In 1891 he joined and became an active member in the New York City Camera Club, one of the many amateur photographic societies established in the 1880’s.  Zabriskie was interested in the technical and scientific aspects of photography. He experimented with equipment, materials, techniques, and subject matter. Over the years he may have acquired as many as 80 cameras.

From 1893-1913 the family summered each year at “Glimmerview” on the shore of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY.  Zabriskie’s images of this time, contain a rich source of information about sites, people, and events in the Cooperstown area through a number of unmanipulated images, much of which was not recorded by commercial photographers at that time. In addition, he was particularly attracted to noting the changes in the areas he photographed. Each summer he would retrace his routes of the previous summer to note the changes, especially in Otsego County industry.

This collection contains over 6,000 images in albums assembled by Charles F. Zabriskie himself. It encompasses photographs showing life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Cooperstown, New York, and surrounding towns, over more than two decades. In addition, the collection also includes a series done in Central Park near the family’s New York winter apartment, Florida, and Atlantic City. Other images in this collection, not taken by C.F. Zabriskie himself, include tintypes, porcelain prints, and cased images of the Zabriskie and extended families.


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