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Alfred Edward Rinehart Photograph Collection

Identifier: C Photo Collection 483

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of glass plate and nitrate negatives of studio portraits of individuals who exemplify the style and fashion of the West for the latter 1800s to the early 20th century. 19 DVD-R discs are also included. The digital files provide positive scans of a selection of negatives from the collection.


  • 1874-1915
  • Majority of material found in 1880s-1915


Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Edward Rinehart was born on October 21, 1851 in Indiana and moved with his brother, Frank A. Rinehart (1861-1928) to Denver, Colorado in the 1870s. The two brothers worked as photographers in association with G. W. Kirkland (1876), Charles Bohm (1875-188), and later went into partnership with William Henry Jackson as Rinehart & Jackson at 413 Larimer and 1637 Larimer (1880-1886). Frank Rinehart eventually married and moved to Nebraska in 1885. Alfred Rinehart established his own portrait studio at 1630 Arapahoe Street and other locations (1888-1901). His studio was said to be quite large, composed of several rooms including dressing rooms, storage rooms, and developing and printing studios. In addition to owning a large collection of props used in his portraits, the studio also served as a private office and living quarters. Alfred Rinehart photographed members of Denver society, with a specific focus on children, toddlers, and babies. He later moved his studio at least once to a location on Welton Street, before he passed away unexpectedly in 1915. His brother Frank A. Rinehart also established a commercial photographer's studio in Omaha, Nebraska.

The collection of glass plate negatives was acquired by artist Silvia (Slegle) Schmitt from an unknown transaction, having previously been stored unprotected and unidentified for many years. Schmitt used the negatives for her own artwork, exposing them to make hand-colored large-format photographs that she sold though Photographs & Memories on South Pearl Street in Denver (1871 S. Pearl St.) through 2008.


11 photo boxes

1 envelope

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Edwin A. Bathke, 2016.


Title from inventory. Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.


Researchers are encouraged to request Photobox 11 to access digital scans of the images, in lieu of accessing fragile originals.

Nitrate negatives have been frozen for preservation.Many plates are broken, cracked, abraded, stained, or otherwise damaged. The newspaper that originally separated the negatives has adhered to some of the emulsion surfaces. There are a few double exposure plates and all plates have raw glass edges.


Collection is attributed to A. E. Rinehart based on similarity in the style of photography and subject matter.

Finding Aid prepared from MARC data.
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States