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Audio Slideshow: Louis McAllister Collection

By Amanda Waite Article published October 1, 2008

McAllister
Burlington photographer Louis McAllister captures an image of the UVM campus. Today, his photographs live in the university library's Special Collections. (Photo courtesy of Special Collections)

Louis McAllister's photographs span the marvelous (circus sideshows with signs promising "Viking giants," "freaks," and "strange people") to the mundane (serene shots of bank interiors and children's dance recitals). During his sixty-year career, the Burlington commercial photographer took countless images, some twenty-five thousand of which reside in Bailey/Howe Library's Special Collections.

As the most frequently used manuscript or photograph collection, McAllister's work (circa 1920-1960) was an easy choice for Bailey/Howe librarians to add to the Center for Digital Initiatives (CDI), an online resource that allows any user to view selected holdings. The quality of the photos and the breadth of subjects make them a compelling browse.

"Not everyone's going to want to see the dramatic productions from Burlington High School," offers Christopher Burns, library assistant professor and manuscript curator, "but there's something there for just about everyone."

See for yourself in this audio slideshow. (Or, view the larger, recommended version of the slideshow.)