William Bullard Phot
William Bullard Photographic Collection: a presentation by Frank Morrill and Dr. Janette Greenwood
Jacob Edwards Library

Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Presentation by Frank Morrill and Dr. Janette Greenwood on the discovery and research of a uniquely rare treasure trove of glass plate negatives of African Americans/Native Americans in Worcester.

The negatives are those of the late itinerant photographer William S. Bullard, of Worcester and later North Brookfield, who, between 1894 and 1917, took a vast amount of images of the city’s streetscapes, businesses and local residents.  Morrill, who has published books about Worcester and other local communities, purchased the Bullard collection – approximately 5400 glass plates – to use in further research and publishing focused on the city streets and architecture.  It wasn’t until his granddaughter, Hannah, accidently discovered in 2013, a negative of a person of color that was incorrectly filed, that research began that led to this historical treasure. 

There are approximately 240 images of people of color, mostly living in the Beaver Brook area along Park Avenue within the first four decades of having obtained their freedom.   Approximately 80 percent of the portraits were identified by Bullard in his logbook, which is the key to the collection.   Morrill and Greenwood have researched the identified Bullard sitters for the past four years and have discovered a large number of descendants many of whom had never seen a photo of, or knew the history of, their ancestors. 

Sponsored by Friends of Jacob Edwards Library.
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