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Louis L. McAllister Photographs

Identifier: mss-005

Scope and Content Note

The L.L. McAllister Collection has been divided into three series: (1) “A” Collection of original photographs printed by the photographer, (2) “B” Collection of negatives which were printed recently, and (3) Oversize Panorama Collection.

“A” Collection: the “A” Collection consists of nineteen boxes of original McAllister 8´10 prints, and two boxes of negatives, some of which match the prints. Nearly all of these originals came from two sources. The McAllister family donated the basic collection in 1969. This includes portraits, construction projects, buildings, businesses and events in the Burlington area covering the period ca. 1920-1960. Most of the negatives which were printed for the “B” collection came with this gift. A 1979 gift from the Burlington Street Department included photos of street, bridge, airport and sewer construction and repair, ca. 1928-1950. There are approximately 70 originals in this group which are not McAllister’s. All of the photos from the Burlington Street Department are duplicates of a set retained by the Department. The library had 4´5 prints made from unique items in the Department’s collection. These are so marked. Over the years countless donors have added original McAllister prints to the “A” collection.

“B” Collection: The “B” Collection consists of nineteen boxes of 8´10 prints and five boxes of negatives. The prints were made from McAllister negatives by the University’s Medical Photography division. This work was funded by a 1977-1978 grant from the National Historical Publication and Records Commission. The majority of these photographs are Burlington group portraits, i.e., clubs, schools etc. Negatives for the prints are filed at the end of the collection. Many of the negatives were badly deteriorated and could not be printed.

Both the “A” and “B” Collections are arranged alphabetically by subject. Abbreviations such as St. and Mt. are spelled out in alphabetizing.


  • 1915-1961


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Louis Leon McAllister was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 16, 1877, the son of Rosa (Gould) and William G. McAllister. His father, a native of Warren VT, was a maker of tintypes in Bristol prior to the Civil War. L.L. returned to Vermont and began photographing in Randolph in 1897. In a few years he moved to Burlington and became a well-known photographer in the Burlington area with his business at 47 North Winooski Avenue.

McAllister’s “trademark” was his panorama camera which made him familiar to all sorts of groups ranging from graduating classes to state police to summer camp groups. In addition he did print 8´10 photos, many of which document building construction and Burlington Street Department projects, as well as group and individual portraits.

McAllister died April 28, 1963, ending a sixty-year career as a Burlington area photographer.


1. Burlington Free Press, “Obituary,” April 30, 1963, p.2. 2. Ralph Nading Hill, “63 Years of Film,” Vermont Life, XIV, summer 1960. pp. 7-10. 3. Kim Borsagae, Catalogue essay, “L.L. McAllister: Photo-Artist,” exhibit at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, UVM, February


19 Linear Feet (45 boxes)

Language of Materials



The L.L. McAllister Collection includes portraits, construction projects, buildings, businesses and events in the Burlington area covering the period ca. 1920-1960. The collection also includes photos of street, bridge, airport and sewer construction and repair, as well as group portraits of clubs, schools, etc.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Digital Collection Note

The Louis L. McAllister Photograph Collection is in the process of being digitized. Images are being added to the collection on an ongoing basis. View the collection at

Guide to the Louis L. McAllister Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)