The Kurt Fisher Haitian History Collection depicts some aspects of Haitian history, covering the time period of the early 1800s and the late 1920s to 1950s. The collection consists of individual and group portraits and candid shots of Haitian Revolutionary and political leaders; early views of the island of Hispaniola when it was known as St. Domingue; an architectural view; and photo scrapbook pages prepared by a Haitian government agency. The collection lacks images from the mid-1800s to the mid-1920s, and from the late 1950s onward.
The collection includes photomechanical and photographic reproductions of portraits (mostly undated) of early Haitian political leaders including Haitian Revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, early Haitian Republic presidents Jean Pierre Boyer and Alexandre Pétion, and Haitian emperors Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Faustin I; a studio portrait of President Louis Borno and candid views of him in a motorcade (ca. 1920s); individual and group portraits of President Sténio Vincent (ca. 1930s), including views of him with Dominican leader Rafael Trujillo, probably signing the treaty to end the 1937 conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in Port-au-Prince; and a candid shot of political leader Louis Déjoie addressing an outdoor meeting (1957). A major portion of the collection is a group of pages from a photo scrapbook compiled by the Haitian Service de l'Enseignement Rural (Department of Rural Education) for its annual report for Fiscal Year 1933-1934, which includes snapshots of students, teachers, classroom instruction, school building exteriors, school activities and agricultural labor organized by school-farms. Also depicted are engraved views of Cap et Môle St.-Nicolas, St. Domingue (now Haiti), Bombarde (Haiti) and Ville de St. Domingue (now Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) (ca. 1808-1818); and a photographic view of the exterior of the Palais National (ca. 1950s).
Biographical/historical: Kurt Fisher, born in Vienna, Austria, in 1908, is an archaelogist and authority on Haitian history and culture who also served as assistant director of the Bureau of Ethnology in Haiti between 1941 to 1949.
Content: Some photographs have photographer's blindstamp; some items bear photography agency hand stamp; several photographs are mounted, many on pages bearing typewritten captions; one item is matted; some photographs have captions printed on recto; most engraved and photomechanical prints bear captions on recto; one item bears autograph; two items are duplicates.
Citation/reference: Forms part of the Kurt Fisher Haitian Collection, 1727-1958