Title and statement of responsibility area
Spira 19th and 20th century foreign language photography publications
General material designation
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Spira, Jonathan
- Spira, Fred, Mr., 1924-2007
Physical description area
4.57 m of published material
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Name of creator
Fred Spira was a photographic historian, collector and business owner who was one of the founders of Spiratone, a photographic business that he began with his family in 1941 as a lab for film development in New York. The business grew into a multi-million dollar business that manufactured and sold affordable photographic equipment. The company became publicly traded when it merged with Interphoto in 1967, it was then eventually bought out by Argus and closed in the early 1990's. Spira retired from the business in 1987.
Spira collected photographic literature and ephemera throughout his life, eventually amassing 10,000 books and 20,000 pieces of photographic equipment, including rare cameras and viewing devices such as and 1861 Ross-Sutton wet plate Panoramic camera and the 1896 Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co. Revolving Disc Sciopticon. These items and others from the collection were exhibited at the George Eastman House Museum in 1980. The collection also served as the basis for the 2001 book "The History of Photography: as Seen Through the Eyes of the Spira Collection", written by Fred Spira and his son, Jonathan Spira and published by Aperture.
Portions of the Spira library were acquired by the Ryerson Library and Archives in 2006 and 2008, and the photographic camera and ephemera was sold after Spira's death in 2007 and now forms the basis of the Photographic Technology collection at the Qatar Museums Authority.
The books were originally part of the Spira Collection's library, collected by Fred Spira in support of his photographic ephemera collection.
Scope and content
The collection contains books and bound periodicals on the subject of photography. Subjects include instructional guides, process descriptions, art photography, early photographic chemistry and product catalogues. Some publications include tipped in photogrpahs. TThe primary language of the collection is German, with a few Spanish, Russian, Czech, and Japanese publications.
Allgemeine Photographische Zeitung (January 1924-December 1926)
Photofreund Jahrbuch (1924-1934)
Photographische Archiv (1866, 1871-1891)
Photographische Correspondenz (1878, 1889-1908, 1928, 1932, 1947-1951)
Immediate source of acquisition
The collection was acquired by Ryerson University Library and Archives from Jonathan Spira, son of collector Fred Spira.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
The primary language of the collection is German, with a few Spanish, Russian, Czech, and Japanese publications.
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Open. Records are available for consultation without restriction.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
The Spira Collection: http://www.spiracollection.com
Photographic Technology Collection: Qatar Museums Authority http://www.qma.com.qa/en/collections/photography/photographic-technology
Standard number area
Subject access points
- Photography (process)
- Photography--Early works to 1850
- image making equipment » Photographic equipment
- Photography--Equipment and supplies--Catalogs
- Photography--Equipment and supplies » Photography--Films
- Photography--Handbooks, manuals, etc
- Photography--Information resources
- Photographic Chemistry » Photography--Processing
- Photography--Studios and dark rooms
- Photogtaphy--History--19th century
- Photogtaphy--History--20th century