In the small river town of Natchez, Mississippi, a remarkable photographic record spanning nearly 100 years has survived to tell the story of the town and its people in stunning detail.
The Thomas and Joan Gandy Collection, now housed at LSU Libraries Special Collections, primarily includes the work of three photographers: The earliest was Henry D. Gurney, who worked in Natchez from 1851 to the late 1870s. His assistant, Henry C. Norman arrived in Natchez in 1870 at age 20. Eventually, Gurney retired, Norman opened his own studio. Norman documented the town and its people for the next 40 years. After his death in 1913, his son Earl operated Norman's Studio for another 40 years.
After the 1960s, Dr. Thomas Howard Gandy, a local physician, acquired the tens of thousands of negatives left behind by the three photographers and spent more than 30 years restoring them. The historical record represented by these negatives astounds all who view them today.
Beginning in 1978, Dr. Gandy and his wife Joan W. Gandy, a writer and publisher, produced several books based on the collection.
Norman's Natchez: An Early Photographer and His Town (University of Mississippi Press 1978)
Natchez Victorian Children ( University of Mississippi Press 1981)
The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs (Dover 1987)
Victorian Children of Natchez (Arcadia 1998) (a remake of the earlier Natchez Victorian Children)
Natchez Landmarks, Lifestyles, and Leisure (Arcadia 1999)