The Division of Photographic History was created in 1972 when the former Division of Graphic Arts and Photography was divided to create new divisions of Photographic History and Graphic Arts. Eugene Ostroff, Associate Curator and Curator in the previous division, was made Curator of Photographic History. The Division was successively attached to the Department of History of Technology, 1978-1980; the Department of History of Science and Technology, 1981-1988; and the Department of Social and Cultural History, 1989-1995. In 1995 it ceased to be an administrative unit when it was merged into a new Division of Cultural History.
The Division of Photographic History and its predecessors primarily documented the history of photographic science and technology in America since the nineteenth century. The Division collected cameras, patent models, motion picture apparatus, and photographs such as daguerreotypes, tintypes, and calotypes.
Curators and staff of the Division included Eugene Ostroff, Curator of the Division of Photographic History, 1972-1994; and David Haberstich, Assistant Curator, 1970-1976.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Agency History. Record 218190