Willoughby A. Reade Photograph Collection

C1: 114
1 album, 11 x 14 inches, containing 78 prints; 32 glass-plate negatives with corresponding contact prints 

C1:114 Willoughby A. Reade Photograph Collection

Willoughby Reade (1865–1952), author of several books, including When Hearts Were True (1907), a set of short stories set in Virginia, was born in London, England, educated at Howard College in Alabama, and served for most of his life as a professor of English at Episcopal High School in Alexandria. His first wife was Mary Wheeler Robertson, of Abingdon, Virginia, whose childhood home, the Meadows, became the Reades’ annual summer place, the site of the first national camp for girls (Camp Glenrochie, officially founded by the Reades in 1910), and one of the main subject locales for this collection. 

Reade’s original platinum prints are mounted in the album with handwritten captions. The dramatic natural landmarks of White Top, Red Rock Cove, Pinnacle Rock, Backbone Rock, Watauga River, and South Holston River—environs that would have been familiar to the sporting girls of Camp Glenrochie in its heyday—appear in shots with a dreamy, almost Proustian quality. Sunlight seems to drip onto the ferny forest floors. Toward the end of the album, nature studies give way to photos of white-frocked campers at the Meadows, the great white house smothered in trees.

Arrangement and access:
The album prints are numbered sequentially, 1 through 78. Those glass plate negatives and contact prints corresponding to the album prints share those numerical designations.

8 thoughts on “Willoughby A. Reade Photograph Collection”

    1. Thanks for your interest in the Willoughby Reade images. I’ll add a few more scans to the entry, but in order to view the entire collection you will need to visit the Prints & Photographs Collection at the Library of Virginia. Special Collections is open Monday-Friday from 9:00-4:30. The Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond VA 23219. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions (Phone 804-692-3703)

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  4. Please correct Mary Wheeler’s maiden name. It was Robertson, not Robinson. I’m their granddaughter. Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you for catching the mistake. We had the correct “Robertson” in the finding aid on Virginia Heritage, but somehow got it wrong in the blog post. Our apologies.

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