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Margaret Sterling Houston and Charlotte Augusta Houston photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0048

Scope and Contents

The Margaret Sterling Houston and Charlotte Augusta Houston photographs consist mostly of landscape and portrait images. The photographs were taken at various locations in the Rochester and Western New York region including Niagara Falls, Powder Mills Park, Maplewood Park, and Highland Park. The collection contains 31 black and white prints and over 200 glass plate negatives.

In addition to the photographs the collection includes a small amount of biographical material (mostly clippings). There is also a broadside that advertises an exhibit held at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Wallace Memorial Library in 1977. The exhibit featured the Houston sisters' work and used the prints in the collection.


  • Creation: 1890-1904, 1977


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Margaret Sterling Houston (1864-1942) was born in 1864, the oldest daughter of Charles and Charlotte Houston. A second daughter, Charlotte Augusta Houston (1870-1946), was born in 1870. Although the family had two sons, neither survived childhood.

Little is known about the Houston sisters. The two women appeared to have had an interest in several hobbies including basketry and collecting botanical specimens. With the art of photography becoming more widespread, the two women began exploring the field. Focusing mostly on landscapes and portraiture, the two women began documenting various sites in Rochester and Western New York. For instance, some of their photographs featured Powder Mill Park and Niagara Falls.

Margaret died on July 21, 1942 and Charlotte died on May 1, 1946.


7.7 Linear Feet (2 portfolio boxes, 7 photograph boxes, 1 oversize folder)




Photographs taken by Margaret Sterling Houston and Charlotte Augusta Houston between 1890 and 1904. The sisters were amateur photographers from the Rochester area. Most of the photographs in the collection are portraits or landscape scenes. The collection also includes a few pieces of biographical material and a broadside that advertises an exhibit on the sisters' work held in 1977.


The collection is currently unprocessed. The prints are located toward the front of the collection, followed by the glass plate negatives. Biographical material is stored in Box 1, while the broadside is housed in a separate oversize folder.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelves 46-47

Other Finding Aids

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

Margaret Sterling Houston and Charlotte Augusta Houston photographs

Custodial History

The prints in the collection were made by Kevin Starrett, a Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) student, from glass plate negatives loaned by Ethel Shields.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in December 2010.

Margaret Sterling Houston and Charlotte Augusta Houston photographs
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
17 December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA