Caroline “Carrie” Nichols (later Carrie N. Lacy; see 2017.30.13) presented this carte-de-visite album to her friend and fellow teacher Emily Howland on January 1, 1864, at Camp Todd, a freedmen’s camp and school located in Arlington, Virginia. Emily Howland was an abolitionist, educator, philanthropist, and suffragist who founded, financially supported, and taught in numerous schools for African Americans for more than 70 years from 1857 until her death in 1929 at the age of 101.
Typical of a CDV album during this period, the Howland Album contains photographs of Howland’s family, friends, and colleagues, as well as souvenir images of notable abolitionists and famous figures during the 1860s and 1870s. Based on the photograph dates and later inscriptions, it is clear that Howland added photographs to the album as she collected them throughout the mid- to late 19th century.
Black leather photograph album owned by Emily Howland containing photographs of friends, family, and celebrities. The album covers and binding are made from embossed black leather with gold gilt decorations on the covers and spine. Both covers are the same, with a scallop-edged diamond outlined in gold at the center and geometric borders surrounding it, ending in a thin gold gilt geometric border around the edges. Gilt text is stamped on the spine reading "PHOTOGRAPHS". The front and back interior covers have decorative paper with small gold repeating stylized dots on a white ground adhered to them. There are four (4) sheets of paper at the front of the album, followed by twenty-five (25) thicker pages that each feature a window for holding two (2) photographs per page, and one (1) sheet of paper at the back of the album. There is room for fifty (50) photographs, though the album contains only forty-seven (47) photographs plus one (1) loose photograph too large to fit into the windowed pages. Windows 20, 21, and 47 are empty. The windows are rectangular with rounded corners and are surrounded by a gold printed border. The front pages include a page with information about the album publisher and an Index page with two printed columns of numbered lines for identifying the photographs. The Index page is not filled out. There is an inscription written in black ink on the first page that reads "To / Emily Howland / From her friend / Carrie Nichols / Jan 1st, 1864 / Camp Todd / Virginia". All of the interior pages are edged in gilt with a design impressed into the top, right side, and bottom edges of the pages that creates a floral spray when the album is closed. The album fastens on the right side with two (2) metal hinged bars that are attached to the back cover and close over metal pins attached to the front cover. The bars are embellished with a three-dimensional metal design imitating a floral fabric looped through a metal buckle.