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The images in the Julian Dimock Collection consist of approximately 3400 photographs on glass taken by Julian A. Dimock (1873-1945) in the United States in the early part of the 20th century from about 1904 to 1911. Dimock, who donated the negatives to the Museum in 1920, traveled the Southern states over many years, both alone and with his father, and scientists and guides, such as anthropologist Alanson Skinner, and during Museum funded trips to Southern locations like The Everglades. Carrying heavy and cumbersome photographic equipment over challenging terrain, Dimock trained his lens on the people and landscape of the South. He widely published images and articles in travel journals and guides such as Outing Magazine, and in books he published with his father, Anthony Weston Dimock, such as Florida Enchantments (1908).
Dimock’s work in the South documents African American communities, both former slaves and descendants of slaves, including many moving portraits of individuals and groups working and living in South Carolina and Alabama. He also took hundreds of photographs of the Seminole Indians of Florida and preserved their glorious traditional dress and customs on film. Dimock is likewise well known for his images of Ellis Island and the poignant circumstances of immigrants of Manhattan’s Lower East Side at the turn of the last century. All of the photographs capture cultures and customs with an exceptional compassion and with the beauty and sensitivity Julian Dimock is known for.