University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Guide to the Leibee Family Photo Album

MSH/LAT 0081


Collection Summary

Title: Leibee family photo album
Dates: circa 1899
Collection No.: MSH/LAT 0081
Extent: 1 bound volume; oblong 4to.
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A photo album documenting a trip to Cuba and Puerto Rico taken by members of the Leibee family, including H.P. Leibee, of Middletown, Ohio, shortly after the Spanish-American War.

Selected Search Terms

Spanish-American War, 1898
Cuba--Description and travel
Havana (Cuba)--Description and travel
Photograph albums
Maine (Battleship)

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Leibee family photo album, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Leibee family photo album was purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2015, from Bartleby's Books in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Arranged and described 2016, by Erika Hosselkus. Finding aid 2016, by Erika Hosselkus.

Biographical Note

The compiler of this photo album is not directly identified. However, he appears to have been the nephew of H.P. Leibee, a prominent businessman from Middletown, Ohio. Members of the Leibee family were merchants and were also involved in construction endeavors. The Leibee family residence is located in the South Main Street Historic District of Middletown.

Scope and Content Note

The Leibee family photo album is an oblong, quarto volume bound in blind stamped black cloth boards with two black brads along left margin. A small sticker on rear pastedown identifies the album as a "Morehouse Photo Album," with patents from 1891-1895. The album contains a collection of 275 black and white vernacular photos, including 104 round images (2 3/4 inches in diameter) of the sort taken by Kodak box cameras. Most of the remaining photos measure 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. The images are affixed to stiff off-white cardboard sheets and many have ink caption titles.

The album appears to have been compiled by the nephew of Middletown, Ohio businessman, H.P. Leibee. It documents a trip taken by members of the Leibee family and companions to Cuba and Puerto Rico, circa 1899. The first image depicts the travelers' train, bearing a banner along its side that reads, "Ho for the West Indies. Jan'y 25." Other initial images depict the Georgia countryside, Atlanta, Georgia, and Jacksonville and Palm Beach, Florida. Much of the album is devoted to Havana's sights, including the harbor and the Morro castle, the Columbus Memorial, and the Paseo del Prado. Street scenes depicting children, horse-drawn transportation, Afro-Cuban women smoking cigars, and local architecture are also present. The album also contains images of the Colón (Columbus) Cemetery and boneyard and reflects the continued U.S. presence in Cuba after the Spanish-American War. The USS Brooklyn appears stationed in the Havana harbor, the remains of the wrecked USS Maine are depicted, and other photographs include U.S. officers as well as tents housing American troops. The album also includes an image of Cuban independence leader, Máximo Gómez (1836-1932), meeting his children, and an image of Havana's governor's palace where the body of Cuban General Calixto García (1839-1898) lies in state. Photographs from Nuevitas, Gibara, Baracoa, and Santiago, Cuba follow those from Havana. The album concludes with photographs of Puerto Rico, including the port of San Juan, market scenes from Ponce, and images of coffee workers.

Container List

  • Leibee family photo album, circa 1899. (MSH/LAT 0081-1-B).