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Manuscript Group 464
FRANCIS COOPER PHOTOGRAPHS
1896-1920
9 cubic feet


Francis L. Cooper was an amateur photographer who documented scenes of life in Juniata and Mifflin counties. Born in Philadelphia in 1874, Cooper attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and in 1896 began taking photographs of the countryside around Philadelphia, several of which were displayed at the 1899 John Wanamaker Exhibition of Photographs by Amateurs and the 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer Photographic Contest. One of his photographs was selected for a United States exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition. In 1901 Cooper left behind city life, moving to Spruce Hill, Pennsylvania. He spent the rest of his life as a country squire, and serving Juniata County as a justice of the peace, a tax collector, a clerk at public auctions, a storekeeper, a clerk at a steel company, and as a draft registrar during World War I. From 1901 until 1920, Cooper took family photographs and portraits, school portraits, and photographs of family reunions, which were commissioned and purchased. In 1920, he stopped taking photographs. Francis Cooper died in Spruce Hill on October 29, 1944.

The collection includes photographic negatives and prints by Cooper, and related material. The images are mostly scenes of life around Juniata and Mifflin Counties and at the University of Pennsylvania. Subjects include individuals and families, buildings, patients, pets, farm animals, hunting, landscapes, townscapes, fires, railroads, celebrations, a circus, and general rural life.



PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records