Guide to the John W. McCalley Photographic Collection, 1956 – 1985

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Summary

The John W. McCalley Photographic Collection contains photographs, slides, contact sheets, and negatives pertaining primarily to Nantucket Island. A group of photographs and slides appear to pertain to McCalley’s research for his 1981 work entitled Nantucket Yesterday and Today. Copies of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries depicting street scenes and historic houses are paired with McCalley’s own work of the same location as it appeared in the late twentieth century. A series of prints also document a trip to the American West and California that John McCalley and his wife, Adrienne McCalley, took in 1961.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
PH7
Title:
John W. McCalley Photographic Collection
Date(s):
1956 – 1985
Creator:
McCalley, John W, 1916 – 1983
Repository:
Nantucket Historical Association Research Library
Language:
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the John W. McCalley Photographic Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Donors include Adrienne A. McCalley.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • PH64 - John McCalley Photographic Collection II

Subject Headings

  • People
    • McCalley, Adrienne Anderson, 1921–2018.
    • McCalley, John W., 1916–1983.
  • Places
    • California -- Photographs.
    • Nantucket Island (Mass.) --- Photographs.
    • Nantucket (Mass.) --- Photographs.
    • West (U.S.) – Photographs.

Biographical Information

John Wallace McCalley, 1916 – 1983, was an economist, professor, and photographer. Born in Oregon on 28 March 1916, he attended the University of California, Berkeley. In 1940, while still an undergraduate, he helped the University of California, Riverside Department of Agriculture establish a scientific photography laboratory.

During World War II, he joined the Navy, and was stationed in Washington, D.C., to conduct photographic research. During his time there, he contributed to the invention of quick printing that would later be trademarked by Polaroid.

He went on to earn a PhD in economics from George Washington University, and worked for a Washington, D.C., think tank called the Brooklings Institute as well as for the Federal Research Bank as a research economist. In the mid-1950s, he became a professor and taught economics at the City College of New York.

In 1958, John married Adrienne Anderson (1921–2018), who began summering on the island in 1925.

In 1960, he moved to Nantucket and opened Studio 13, a photography studio, in his home. In 1981, he published Nantucket Yesterday and Today, a photography book documenting his life on Nantucket.

McCalley was also involved in the Nantucket community, serving as chairman of the Historic District Commission from 1963 to 1968, financial advisor to the Steamship Authority, a board member of the Maria Mitchell Association, a member of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, and a member of the Nantucket Yacht Club.

McCalley died in Nantucket, Mass., on 6 August 1983.

Scope and Content

The John W. McCalley Photographic Collection contains personal and professional photographs, slides, contact sheets, and negatives created by John W. McCalley, primarily during his later years. Outside of three photo albums depicting a 1961 family vacation, his early years are not represented in this collection.

Series one documents a trip to the American West and California that the McCalleys took in 1961. Two snapshots of Nantucket street scenes were found within this collection of prints.

Primarily pertaining to Nantucket Island, the photographs in series two are grouped by a general subject or site name and numbered individually. These photographs are not dated but estimated to be from the 1960s or 1970s.

The slides in series three are of numerous sites around Nantucket Island and date from 1956 – 1985. Date and location are written on face of each slide case.

The photographs and slides in series four are similar to McCalley’s 1981 book Nantucket Yesterday and Today in subject matter and a few almost match in content but are not exact. Copies of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries depicting street scenes and historic houses are paired with McCalley’s own work of the same location as it appeared in the late twentieth century. The slides were taken between July and December 1975 and depict numerous scenes in and around Nantucket.

Series five contains negatives and corresponding contact prints depicting various Nantucket scenes and events in the final years of McCalley’s life.

Contents

Organization

  1. American West photographic prints, 1961
  2. Nantucket photographic prints, circa 1925, 1970 – 1979
  3. Nantucket slides, 1956 – 1985
  4. Nantucket Yesterday and Today project prints and negatives, 1970 – 1979
  5. Contact prints and negatives, 1979 – 1982

Contents List



I: American West photographic prints, 1961

82 items.
Arrangement: Original order.

This series contains photographic prints taken about 1961 during a trip the McCalley’s took to the American West and California. The Grand Canyon, Redwood Forest, San Francisco, and other sites are the subjects of this group of photographs.

Box 1, Folder 1 American West album 1, 1961
8” x 10” black-and-white prints. 27 items.

Box 1, Folder 2American West album 2, 1961
8” x 10” black-and-white prints. 23 items.

Box 1, Folder 3American West album 3, 1961
8” x 10” black-and-white prints. 32 items.

Includes two snapshots of Nantucket street scenes found interleaved in album.


Series II: Nantucket photographic prints, circa 1925, 1970 – 1979

546 items.
Arrangement: By subject

Photographs in this series pertain to a wide variety of subjects and sites in and around Nantucket Island taken by John W. McCalley.

Box 1, Folder 4Town Center, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 1 through 29, 29 prints.

Box 1, Folders 5 – 6Houses in town, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 30 through 95, 66 prints.

Box 1, Folder 7NHA Sites – The Old Mill, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 96 through 108, 13 prints.

Box 1, Folder 8NHA Sites – The Old Jail (Gaol), 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 109 through 125, 17 prints.

Box 1, Folder 9NHA Sites – The Oldest House, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 126 through 137, 12 prints.

Box 1, Folder 10NHA Sites – Whaling + Lifesaving Museum,
1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 138 through 144, 7 prints.

Box 1, Folder 11Historic buildings, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 145 through 147, 3 prints.

Box 1, Folder 12Churches, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white and color prints.
Images 148 through 169, 21 prints black-and-white
prints, 1 color print

Box 1, Folder 13Town overviews, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 170 through 179, 10 prints.

Box 1, Folder 14Town vistas, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white and color prints.
Images 180 through 188, 6 prints, 4 black-and-white
print and 2 color prints.

Box 1, Folder 15Cemeteries, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 189 through 202, 14 prints.

Box 1, Folder 16Miscellaneous, circa 1925, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 203 and 204, 2 prints.

Includes one print of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Minshall’s West Brick garden (circa 1925) and one portrait drawing of unidentified man.

Box 1, Folder 17Siaconset, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 205 through 214, 10 prints.

Box 1, Folder 18Madaket, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints, 7” x 9” black-and-
white print, and 8” x 10” black-and-white prints.
Images 215 through 224, 10 prints.

Box 1, Folders 19 – 20Beach areas, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 225 through 276, 52 prints.

Box 2, Folder 21Woods, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 277 through 289, 13 prints.

Box 2, Folder 22Ponds, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 290 through 312, 23 prints.

Image 290 missing 09/30/19

Box 2, Folder 23Moors, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 313 through 316, 4 prints.

Box 2, Folder 24Island flowers, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 317 through 345, 29 prints.

Box 2, Folders 25 – 27Waterfront + docks, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 346 through 420, 75 prints.

Box 2, Folder 28Fetes + fairs, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 421 through 453, 33 prints.

Box 2, Folder 29Fishing, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 454 through 470, 17 prints.

Box 2, Folder 30Sailing, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 471 through 479, 9 prints.

Box 2, Folder 31Riding, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 480 through 497, 18 prints.

Box 2, Folder 32Beaches, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 498 through 527, 30 prints.

Box 2, Folder 3Children and beach scene, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints.
Images 528 through 546, 19 prints.


Series III: Nantucket slides, 1956 – 1985

333 items.
Arrangement: Original order

This series contains 35mm Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides depicting Nantucket scenes. John W. McCalley arranged these slides roughly by year, then by subject, location or event.

Slide Box 2, Tray 1Nantucket slides: Slides 1–25, 1956
35mm color slides
25 images

Nantucket streets including Main and Orange Streets, and scenes of the Anderson House, the moors, ‘Sconset, Dionis, and Town Harbor.

Slide Box 2, Tray 2Nantucket slides: Slides 26–50, 1956
35mm color slides
25 images

Nantucket streets and scenes of moors, Altar Rock, Tuckernuck, Coatue, Monomoy, and Nantucket Memorial Airport.

Slide Box 2, Tray 3Nantucket slides: Slides 51–75, 1956
35mm color slides
25 images

Old Mill, Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Old North Wharf, East Street Basin, and Nantucket streets, ponds and beaches.

Slide Box 2, Tray 4Nantucket slides: Slides 76–97, 1956, 1958
35mm color slides
22 images

Nantucket streets, ponds, moors, Tuckernuck, Monomy, and the McCalleys with a whale vertebrae.

Slide Box 2, Tray 5Nantucket slides: Slides 98–120, 1958
35mm color slides
23 images

Monomy, Cross Rip Lightship, Hummock Pond, Coleman House, and Crab Bridge.

Slide Box 2, Tray 6Nantucket slides: Slides 121–141, 1958
35mm color slides
21 images

Pocomo Head, Madaket, Dionis, Hummock Pond, the Qulch, Maxcy’s Pond, Craig House, and Crab Bridge.

Slide Box 2, Tray 7Nantucket slides: Slides 145–168, 1958, 1960
35mm color slides
24 images

Crab Bridge, Tom Nevers Head, Sacacha Pond, Hummock Pond Road, South Shore, Dionis, Shipyard, and Vestal Street.

Slide Box 2, Tray 8Nantucket slides: Slides 169–195, 1960
and 1964
35mm color slides
27 images

Winter at Brant Point, wharfs, Henry Street Beach, Vestal Street, and Beachside. Also includes Dionis, First Point, Second Point, Cross Rip, Polpis, and ice boating.

Slide Box 3, Tray 9Nantucket slides: Slides 196–220, 1964
and 1965
35mm color slides
25 images

White Rock Ampitheatre, Central Moors, Polpis Harbor, Shawkemo, Abram’s Point, Uncatena, and Vestal Street.

Slide Box 3, Tray 10Nantucket slides: Slides 221–243, 1967
and 1968
35mm color slides
23 images

Hummock Pond, Brant Point, Nobska, America’s Cup (Newport, R.I.), Steamer “Nantucket”, Tuckernuck Yoho and scenes of Tuckernuck, Pocomo, and placement of new Congregational Church steeple.

Slide Box 3, Tray 11Nantucket slides: Slides 244–270, 1968
and 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1974
35mm color slides
27 images

Squam Swamp, Coatue, Steamship Nantucket, Stone Alley, Great Point, the Galls,  Sankaty Lighthouse, Steamship Nobska, Baptist Church, Pine Street, Summer Street, and Town Center panoramas.

Slide Box 3, Tray 12Nantucket slides: Slides 271–292, 1974
and 1975
35mm color slides
22 images

Views of Main Street, Congregational Church, Academy Hill School, Pocomo Head, Coatue, Unitarian Church, Wauwinet, Fair Street, houses on Mill Street and Milk Street, and Nantucket Lightship.

Slide Box 3, Tray 13Nantucket slides: Slides 293–317, 1975
and 1981
35mm color slides
25 images

Lifesaving Museum, Old Mill, Hither Creek, ‘Sconset Bluff Walk, and moors.

Slide Box 3, Tray 14Nantucket slides: Slides 318–333, 1975,
1983 and 1985
35mm color slides
27 images

Gibbs Pond, Frost Racing, and Ships’ Logs.


Series IV: Nantucket Yesterday and Today project prints and negatives, 1970–1979

About 350 items.
Arrangement: Original order.

This series contains photographs and slides that are similar to McCalley’s book Nantucket Yesterday and Today in subject matter and a few almost match in content but are not exact. Copies of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries depicting street scenes and historic houses are paired with McCalley’s own work of the same location as it appeared in the late twentieth century. The 35mm color slides in this series were taken between July and December 1975.

Photographs includes images of Main Street, Center Street, Old Mill, Brant Point, Pleasant Street and other locations around Nantucket.

Box 2, Folder 34Nantucket project prints, 1970 – 1979
8.5” x 11” black-and-white prints, 8” x 10” color prints.
44 black-and-white prints, 2 color prints.

Includes photographs taken by McCalley as well as copy prints of nineteenth century photographs likely considered for inclusion in his 1981 book Nantucket, Yesterday and Today.

Slide Box 3, Tray 15Nantucket project slides: Slides 334–358,
July 1975, October 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Old Mill, Nantucket street scenes, and other island scenes.

Slide Box 3, Tray 16Nantucket project slides: Slides 359–384,
October 1975
35mm color slides
26 images

Oldest House, Old Gaol, and Nantucket houses and streets.

Slide Box 3, Tray 17Nantucket project slides: Slides 385–409,
October 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Main Street, Hadwen House, Civil War Monument, and The Hub

Slide Box 3, Tray 18Nantucket project slides: Slides 410–434,
October 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Main Street scenes and Buttner’s storefront.

Slide Box 3, Tray 19Nantucket project slides: Slides 435–459,
October and November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Captain’s Corner, Cliff Road, Orange Street, and Sankaty Head Lighthouse.

Slide Box 3, Tray 20Nantucket project slides: Slides 460–484,
November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Sankaty Head Light, Founder’s Burial Ground, Lifesaving Museum

Slide Box 3, Tray 21Nantucket project slides: Slides 485–509,
November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Jared Coffin House, Summer Street, and other island scenes.

Slide Box 3, Tray 22Nantucket project slides: Slides 510–534,
November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Union Street, Quarter Mile Hill, and harbor views from Easy Street.

Slide Box 3, Tray 23Nantucket project slides: Slides 535–559,
November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Children’s Beach, marsh views, and other island scenes.

Slide Box 3, Tray 24Nantucket project slides: Slides 560–584,
November and December 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Views of marshlands, Nantucket harbor and wharfs, and other island scenes.

Slide Box 3, Tray 25Nantucket project slides: Slides 585–609,
November 1975
35mm color slides
25 images

Views of Nantucket harbor, Nantucket Atheneum, and vistas of Nantucket town.

Slide Box 3, Tray 26Nantucket project slides: Slides 610–633,
November 1975
35mm color slides
24 images

Vistas of Nantucket town.

Slide Box 3, Tray 1 Nantucket project slides: Slides 634–641,
November 1975
35mm color slides
8 images

Vistas of Nantucket town.


Series V: Contact prints and negatives, 1979–1982

46 items.
Arrangement: Chronological order.

Contains negatives and corresponding contact prints depicting various Nantucket scenes and events in the final years of McCalley’s life. Subject descriptions are creator’s original descriptions written on back of contact print, unless otherwise noted as “Untitled” with archivist description in file’s scope and content note. McCalley’s original file numbers are noted below, and kept for additional identification purposes.

Miscy, 1979

Includes printed date, 26 April 1964, in upper
right-hand corner.

File No. 1313 – No. 7

Box 2, Folder 35, Items 1-2Contact Prints
4×5 Negatives Box 1, Sleeves 1-2
Negatives

Gibbs Pond, Center moors, 1979

File No. 1313 – No. 9

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 3Contact Sheet
4×5 Negatives Box 1, Sleeves 3-5Negatives

Weekly Sunfish racing off of First Point and
Tuckernuck, 02 September 1979

File No. 6145 – No. 18

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 4Contact Print
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 1Negatives

Hadwen House, 19 September 1979

File No. 6145 – No. 21

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 5Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 2Negatives

Untitled, 17 October 1979

Includes scenes of cemeteries, houses, Main Street, and
The Hub.

File No. 1645 – No. 22

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 6Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 3Negatives

Untitled, 17 October 1979

Photographs of the Atheneum, churches, houses and
cemeteries

File No. 1645 – No. 23

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 7Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 4Negatives

Thanksgiving weekend regatta, 1979; Gibbs Pond,
23 November 1979

File No. 6183 – No. 5

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 8Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 5Negatives

Views from Unitarian Church tower.
House scenes: 13 Vestal Street, McCalley home,
13 August 1980

File No. 6194 – No. 1

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 9Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 6Negatives

Tuckernuck, Christmas, 08 September 1980

File No. 6205 – No. 1

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 10Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 7Negatives

Head of harbor at Coskata, 08 September 1980

File No. 6205 – No. 2

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 11Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 8Negatives

Coatue/Coskata Pond, 1980, 28 September 1980

File No. 6194 – No. 6

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 12Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 9Negatives

Columbus Day Sunfish regatta – Gibbs Pond,
12 October 1980

File No. 6212 – No. 1

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 13Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 10Negatives

Ponds, 24 October 1980

File No. 6194-8 – No. 1

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 14Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 11Negatives

Untitled, 13 November 1980

Photographs of Nantucket houses

File No. 6194 – No. 9

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 15Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 12Negatives

Untitled, 30 November 1980

Photographs of Great Point Lighthouse

File No. 6194 – No. 10

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 16Contact Sheet
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 13Negatives

House on Wauwinet Road, 22 October 1981

File No. 6241 – No. 1

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 17Contact Sheet
4×5 Negatives Box 1, Sleeves 6–9Negatives

Old Steamer Wharf, 22 October 1981

File No. 6194 – No. 14

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 18Contact Prints
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 14Negatives

Tom Nevers Head lodge, 28 October 1981

Original image taken circa 1938 by
Adrienne Anderson McCalley.

File No. 6249 – No. 3

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 19Positive Print
4×5 Negatives Box 1, Sleeve 10Negatives

North Shore, 24 September 1982

File No. 6277 – No. 13

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 20Film Strip
Film Strip Box 1, Sleeve 15Negatives

Untitled, 01 November 1982

Photograph of Nantucket scene

File No. 6282 – No. 13

Box 2, Folder 35, Item 21Color Transparency
4×5 Negatives Box 1, Sleeve 11Negative

Processing Information

Processing Notes:

Series II: Nantucket photographic prints, circa 1925, 1970 – 1979

The photographs were grouped by a general subject or site name and numbered individually. These photographs are not dated but estimated to be from the 1960s or 1970s.

Series IV: Nantucket Yesterday and Today project photographs, 1970 – 1979

During original processing, it was thought that the photographs were ideas for the book that ended up being cut.

Original order of slides appears to generally correspond to the date and number stamped on face of slide. There are no written descriptions on the faces of this group of slides. General locations described in series were noted by processing archivist.

Processed by Kerry H. McAuliffe and Amelia Holmes, September 2019.
Finding aid by Kerry H. McAuliffe and Amelia Holmes, October 2019.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

> >