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The Free Library of Philadelphia's Print and Picture Collection, located on the second floor of the Central Library, holds the largest extant collection of photographs documenting the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Fairmount Park. Almost all of the 1,283 silver albumen photographs in the Library's Centennial Collection were made by the Centennial Photographic Company. The Company held the sole license for photography issued by the Centennial Commission. The Company was headed by Edward L. Wilson, editor of the premier photographic journal of the time, The Philadelphia Photographer, and William Notman, the famous Scottish-born Canadian photographer. The Centennial Collection also includes twenty-three unmounted albumen photographs of the construction of the Centennial made by Robert Newell & Son during 1875; eighty-six mounted albumen portrait photographs by William Curtis Taylor made at his studio in Philadelphia during the Centennial; and four mounted albumen photographs of the Centennial made by James Cremer.

In addition to these photographs, the Centennial Collection contains several hundred exhibitor trade cards; Frank Leslie's Historical Register of the United States Centennial, 1876; a two-volume scrapbook containing approximately 800 leaves of mounted items; a salesman's album containing 323 half stereoviews; and various memorabilia and realia including the different types of visitor passes, and a bronze award medal. Additional material about the Centennial can be found elsewhere in the Central Library. The Business, Science and Industry Department has a large collection of books about the Centennial, many of them published during or shortly after the Centennial. The Music Department has a collection of sheet music composed for or about the Centennial. The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music includes Richard Wagner's Grand Festival March, composed for and dedicated to the Women's Centennial Committee.


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