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Booth family collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0045

Scope and Contents

The Booth family collection mostly consists of photographs of various members of the Booth family. There are several small prints of images captured by Matthew Brady, famed Civil War photographer. Most of the other photographs in the collection are portraits of unidentified individuals, presumably dating from 1860-1920. The materials in the collection represent various photographic techniques and include daguerrotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes, albumen prints, gelatin silver prints, and platinum prints.

Additionally, the collection includes several pieces of correspondence with Alice Woodward, a relative of the Booths who donated most of the materials. There is also a publication on the history of the Monroe County Savings Bank titled "Our First Century of Service, 1850-1950."


  • Creation: circa 1876-1950

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

James E. Booth was born in New York City in 1826 to Peter and Phebe (née Cooper) Booth. He worked as a partner in a boiler-manufacturing business (Booth and Company) in Rochester before he became the president of the Monroe County Savings bank in 1891. He also served as a board member for the Fidelity Trust Company of Rochester and as a trustee to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) during the 1890s. Booth married Esther Woodbury in 1857. A hard-worker, he was still serving as president of the bank when he died in 1919 at the age of 93.

The Booths had three children: Estelle, Quentin, and Irving. Quentin graduated from Cornell University in 1881. Soon after, he opened a shoe machinery business with his brother (Booth Brothers) in the Rochester area. In 1893, Quentin was granted a patent for a turning machine.

Like his brother, Irving Booth graduated from Cornell University in 1883. Booth Brothers was presumably a successful business enterprise since Irving contributed nearly $600,000 to RIT during his lifetime. This made him one of RIT's largest benefactors at the time. One project that he financed was the construction of James E. Booth Hall, named after his father. Irving was married twice and widowed both times. He had no children.


2.25 Linear Feet (4 photograph boxes, 1 half document box)




James E. Booth was a trustee of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) during the 1890s. His son, Irving, was one of the university's largest benefactors during the mid-20th century. The collection mostly includes photographs of various members of the Booth family. There are also several pieces of correspondence and a publication on the Monroe County Savings Bank.


The photographs in the collection are contained in four boxes, while the rest of the materials are housed in a separate document box. The prints taken by Matthew Brady are located at the end of the photograph series.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Booth family collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the collection was a gift from Alice Woodward, donated in 1972.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in December 2010.

Booth family collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
15 December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA