Erik Overbey Safety Negative Portrait Index

There are more than 21,000 safety portraits in the Erik Overbey Collection. Nitrate film, the immediate predecessor to safety film, was and is flammable. Thus the reason for the name "safety." These portraits were taken between the Second World War and the 1960s, and came into the possession of The McCall Library in 1978. Those interested in portraits of Mobilians taken from the 1880s to c. 1915 should see the Index to Overbey Glass Plates. Those interested in portraits made between the First and Second World Wars should look at the the Index to Overbey Nitrate Portraits. Researchers should keep in mind that there is some overlap, so, if you are interested in a portrait made in, say, 1949, you should check both the Nitrate and Safety indexes. Or, if you are interested in a portrait taken in 1911, you should check both the Glass and Nitrate indexes.

This index is arranged alphabetically by last name. It also lists the subject of the portrait, the date the portrait was taken, the size of the negative, and the number of negatives contained in each negative sleeve. Please see the key below for an explanation of the various abbreviations used in this index. To order a reprint of one of these portraits, please see our reproduction services page. It details the cost, sizes offered, and delivery time. Interested parties can also email The McCall Library at

Subject: C=Child, F=Female, M=Male, G=Group

Click here for the Erik Overbey Safety Portrait Index (PDF).