From the 1860s onwards, the new portrait medium was very popular amongst scholars. In addition to the marketing of cartes de visite by means of employing professional photo agencies to portray well- known scientists, scholars also used them as a private collectible and as bargaining currency. They sent each other portraits, tried to get a carte de visite from their esteemed colleagues and in return sent their own countenance. Especially for this purpose, people would often create albums with corresponding insert sleeves like the one given as a present to Goettingen’s mathematician David Hilbert (1862-1943). Albums of this kind unite colleagues working at different locations, create a scientific community on a small scale, mark a common professional style and are focal points of personal networks.

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