Collection consists of five albums of photos from Meiji period Japan including a few photos from Scotland, one album of photos from China, and two lacquer-framed photographs. It consists mostly of albumen hand-coloured Japanese photographs. These Japanese photographs belong to the genre known as souvenir photography or Yokohama photography. The subject of these photographs in this collection echoed those found in the Japanese ukiyo-e prints of the so-called “floating-world” of the late Edo Period, from around 1780 until the 1860s. The delicate hand colouring of the albumen silver prints is one of the characteristics of photographs of Japan from this period.
There were mainly two media to disseminate souvenir photos from Yokohama during Meiji period (1868 –1912): photo prints and lantern slides (see the James Davidson collection), but other materials were also used. These hand tinted photo prints were usually bound in albums with lacquer covers lavishly decorated in makie (蒔絵), a technique of applying adhesive metal such as gold and silver or colour powder in soft lacquer to create designs.