Size (Extent): 2 boxes holding 18 hand-bound albums, one packet of four small prints, plus biographical information.
Organization: Organized in one series with albums in chronological order based on the date of creation provided by Edwards Roberts.
Biography: Edwards Roberts (1854-1926) was born in Andover, Massachusetts. He is reported to have come to Concord, Massachusetts, from New York City in 1919 at age 63 for his health. His obituary in The Boston Globe (July 7, 1926) states that he was a retired broker who lived at the Colonial Inn on Monument Square for the last seven years of his life before succumbing to “shock following illness of several weeks.” While living in Concord, he took many photographs of local homes and sites of interest which he mounted into hand-bound albums with hand-written captions, perhaps for friends. In 1921, three of his albums were displayed at the Concord Free Public Library.
Scope/Content: An artificial collection consisting of eighteen hand-made albums of photographs taken by Edward Roberts in 1919 or 1920 of well-known scenes around the town of Concord. Album 2 contains the handwritten inscription, “These photographs of Concord scenes make no claim to professional excellence. They were taken with a Brownie 2A Kodak Camera by an amateur for his individual pleasure. Edwards Roberts/ Concord August 1920.” The bulk of the photographs used are named and dated by Roberts in the first two volumes, which have a different type of binding from the others, and tie-closures. The rest of the volumes contain mostly the same prints used repeatedly, although with more extensive handwritten (and also repeatedly used) captions.
Sources of Acquisition: Multiple acquisitions. Notes and bookplates indicate that albums 1, 2, and 5 were purchased in 1920 and 1921 from a fund provided by William M. Prichard. Album 9 was a gift of Mrs. George E. Hall (date unknown) and album 11 was given by Miss Elizabeth McKenna in July 1939. Album 15 was a gift from Rebecca Alter in January 1949, and because album 14 was also inscribed to Elizabeth Alter (like album 15), perhaps it was part of the same gift. Album 12 was donated by Willis Randall from Freeport, Maine, in 1977, and album 16 was a gift from Annette E. Lissauer on August 19, 2009. Albums 6, 10, 17 and 18 were donated by Gordon Shaw on January 22, 2018.
Notes/Comments: The following were accessioned: album 1 (56761; Nov. 1920), album 2 (56760; Nov. 1920), album 5 (57567; Nov. 1921), album 11 (82713; July 1939), and album15 (99798; Jan. 1949).
Number stickers applied to the front covers of some of the albums no longer apply. The albums are varied in terms of condition. Some (3 and 4) are particularly fragile and some (6, 7, 9) are missing their front covers.
Processed by: Amanda Fowler, October 2018. Final processing by C. Manoli-Skocay, October 2018.
Container List/Item List
Box 1, Album 1:
[No title] (1920) – one photo print per numbered page (beginning page 2) with photo title and date underneath, handwritten by Roberts. Photo titles below are transcribed.
Cover photo: The Hosmer House, April 1919
Box 1, Album 2:
[No Title] (1920) – inscribed [ER Monogram] “These photographs of Concord scenes make no claim to professional excellence. They were taken with a Brownie 2A Kodak Camera by an amateur for his individual pleasure. Edwards Roberts/ Concord August 1920.” All photo titles below provided by Roberts and literally transcribed.
Cover photo: Minute Man North Bridge and Monument, June 1920
Box 1, Album 3:
Concord By-Ways 1636 1920 (1920) – inscribed “Edwards Roberts Concord, Massachusetts 1920;” contents includes photographs from the two previous lists plus the following additional subjects: interiors of Orchard House, Wayside, the Old Manse, and the Colonial Inn, and Punkatasset Hill landscapes
Box 1, Album 4:
Concord Its Inn Homes and By-Ways (1920) – inscribed “Edited and photographed by Edwards Roberts, 1920”
Box 1, Album 5:
Concord By-Ways (1921), additional photos: Town Hall, Middlesex Insurance Co. and Court House, Concord School of Philosophy Chapel, Ephraim Bull House, Merriam’s Corner, Easterbook Road, Fitchburg Turnpike, Hubbard’s Bridge, Fair Haven Hill and Fair Haven Cliffs, the “Bloody Angle,” Hildreth Corner on the Lowell Road, Professor Wigglesworth’s house on Bedford Road, Professor Winthrop’s House on Barrett Mill Road, Concord Public Library, Daniel Chester French house, Horace Mann house, Storm damage from November 27-29, 1921.
Box 1, Album 6:
Concord Photos by Edwards Roberts (1921) – inscribed “For MWP Compliments of Edwards Roberts, 18 June 1921”
Box 1, Album 7:
[No title] (1921) – inscribed “Edwards Roberts Concord, 1921;” contains the following handwritten note on a loose scrap of paper, dated 9/8/88: “This book came to Mrs. Russell of Harvard via her father, Clement Ford who boarded at ‘Mrs. Bullock’s’ (the David Emerson house on Estabrook Rd.). He was a good friend of Raymond Emerson’s & as a boy went out with A. Hosmer, the photographer, on his walks around Concord. Clement Ford did not do this book, & Mrs. Russell has no idea who ‘Edwards Roberts’ was.”
Box 1, Album 8:
Concord By-Ways 1636 1921 (1921) – inscribed “For Mrs. Maxwell M. Upson by Edwards Roberts, 1921;” additional photo: headstone of Col. James Barrett
Box 1, Album 9:
[No title] (1921) – inscribed “This book belongs to Frederick Millet [Willett?] Edwards Roberts Concord, 1921;” additional photo: Barrett Mill ruins
Box 1, Album 10:
The Concord of Emerson (1923) – inscribed “Compiled for Edward L. Parker Esq. By Edwards Roberts, 1923;” additional photo: portrait of “Uncle Si” Clark of Estabrook Road
Box 1, Album 11:
To Recall Old Concord (1923); additional photos: Concord River, Sandy Pond
Box 1, Album 12:
[No title?] (1923) – loose card inside back cover [damaged cover piece/title?]: “Concord and Around There Edwards Roberts 1923;” additional photos: White Pond, final page is a portrait of Edwards Roberts [same photo of unnamed man in album 14]
Box 1, Album 13:
Concord By-Ways (1923) – inscribed “For R.H.R., November 24th 1923 With the Compliments and Affectionate Regard of the Editor” note: contains copy of news article about ER.
Box 1, Album 14:
Concord By-Ways (1924) – inscribed “Photographed and Compiled for Elizabeth Alter by Edwards Roberts Concord, November 1924;” photo inside front cover may be Edwards Roberts.
Box 1, Folder 1:
Loose photographs, undated
Box 2, Album 15:
Concord By-Ways (1924) – inscribed “Photographed and Compiled for Elizabeth Alter by Edwards Roberts Concord, November 1924;” additional photo: Wheeler house on Sudbury Road
Box 2, Album 16:
Concord By-Ways (1925)
Box 2, Album 17:
Concord By-Ways additional photos: Colonel Barrett’s house and rear view of the Country Club, undated
Box 2, Album 18:
To Recall Old Concord Days, additional photo: unnamed farmer on horse-drawn rake, undated