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Nancy Many Photograph Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 21 Mar 2013

Biographical History

The Oneida Community was a utopian commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 in the town of Oneida in Madison County, New York. The community practiced Perfectionism, complex marriage, communal ownership of property, and stirpiculture. At its height in 1878 the community had 306 members, but the community faltered the next year when Noyes attempt to pass on leadership of the community to his son, Theodore Noyes. By 1880 some members had left, many had embarked upon traditional marriages, and the community itself had been reorganized as a joint-stock company named Oneida Community Ltd., later simply Oneida Ltd. Most of the product lines (animal traps, silk thread, canned vegetables) were abandoned or sold off by 1916, but the company became well-known for its silver and cutlery, production of which continued until 2005 when the company went into bankruptcy and was sold.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Nancy Many Photograph Collection consists of nine tintype (ferrotype) portraits and two daguerreotype portraits. One of the daguerreotypes is identified as John Ransom Miller (1813–1854), who joined the Putney Corporation in 1841 and who married Charlotte A. Noyes, the sister of John Humphrey Noyes. The Millers joined the Oneida Association in 1849. John Miller's financial skills helped to make the transition of the Putney Corporation to the Oneida Community a smoother one through successful industries and publishing efforts.

The remaining ten portraits — four children, one elderly woman, and five men — are unidentified, but they may be of members of the Oneida Community as well. None of the photographs are dated.

Arrangement of the Collection

No particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has extensive holdings relating to the Noyes family and the Oneida Community, including the Oneida Community Collection, Constance Pierrepont Noyes Robertson Papers, Margaret Noyes Goldsmith Papers, William A. Hinds Photograph Album, and George Cragin Manuscript.

Subject Headings


Miller, John Ransom.

Corporate Bodies

Oneida Community.
Putney Community (Putney, Vt.)


Photography -- History -- 19th century
Portrait photography -- 19th century

Genres and Forms

Cased photographs.
Daguerreotypes (photographs)
Tintypes (prints)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Nancy Many Photograph Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Nancy Many, 2012.

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