(Note: This brief biography and bibliography were created by Arel Lucas for Stanford University, and are offered here for those scholars who may wish to find Stanford's holdings all in one place.)

Eadweard Muybridge was born Edward Muggeridge in Kingston-upon-Thames near London in 1830. Around 1850-2 he changed his name, emigrated to New York, and continued the Muggeridge family business of bookselling. In 1855, he moved to San Francisco, where he established a bookstore. In the succeeding five years, he became increasingly interested in photography as a profession, and in 1860 began a journey across country which he hoped would result in saleable photographs. Instead it resulted in a serious coach accident which put him in the hospital and gained him a sum of money in settlement. with the coach company. For the next several years he appears to have travelled and pursued various schemes as well as photography, leaving his book business in the hands of his youngest brother Thomas.

By the time of his return to California in 1867, Thomas had quit the book business, and Muybridge entered seriously into photography, producing his Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties in 1868 and Catalogue of Photographic Views . . . of California in 1873.

During his rise as a landscape photographer, Muybridge met and married a photographic retoucher, Flora Stone, in 1872. This was also the year that Leland Stanford sought him out to solve a problem in animal locomotion.' The story that Stanford hired Muybridge to settle a bet has not been substantiated, but Stanford did have a theory that a horse has all four feet off the ground at some point while trotting. Muybridge started by photographing Stanford's prize horse Occident using one camera and a trip apparatus, with this series to be continued later in Palo Alto. (Stanford was right, by the way.) Muybridge's original photographs were apparently the model for Currier and Ives's "The California Wonder," which became a popular print.

From 1873-5 Muybridge was in custody and on trial for killing his wife's lover (a Major Larkyns), but following his acquittal he continued with his plans to photograph Central America and Panama. In 1877 he did further work in Sacramento for Stanford, photographing Occident.

In 1878 he began the series at Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm that initiated his career in motion photographs, culminating in Attitudes of Animals. This series continued his studies of Occident, but broadened his subject matter, and added cameras and equipment until he was using 24 cameras and an elaborate setup to photograph horses, farm animals and human beings in increasingly rapid sequences. In the following year Muybridge invented the zoopraxiscope, a device "which combined a projecting lantern, rotating disks on which appeared a limited number of silhouettes, hand-painted over Muybridge's sequential photographs; and a counterrotating slotted disk . . . which acted as a kind of shutter and gave the effect of intermittent movement..." Haas, p.17). His work in Palo Alto continued until 1881, when he went to France.

It was during this period of Muybridge's foreign success that Dr. J. B. D. Stillman produced for Stanford a book on The Horse in Motion utilizing some of Muybridge's earlier studies. Since Muybridge had not been consulted on the use of his materials, he returned to the States and filed a lawsuit against Stanford and Stillman which he lost. In the meantime, he lectured on his zoopraxiscope, and in 1884 began work at the University of Pennsylvania. He continued his experiments on animal locomotion there, producing many of his famous series on human movement. In 1889 his Animal Locomotion was published, and following this he began a European lecture tour.

Returning to California in 1892, Muybridge met with his son, Floredo Helios Muybridge, the child of his ill-fated marriage, then accepted an invitation to exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893). At the Exposition he presided over a "Zoopraxographical Hall," and sold engravings in various forms. His series of lectures given at the Hall was commemorated in Descriptive Zoopraxography. He lectured in England before settling in Boston to finish Animals in Motion, published in 1899. Muybridge's last book, The Human Figure in Motion, came out in 1901, after which he retired to his birthplace, where he died in 1904.


In Special Collections and Archives at Stanford:
  1. Clark,George T. Leland Stanford: War Governor of California, Railroad Builder and Founder of Stanford University. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1931. Located in Special Collections Reading Room, Archives Section, E664,S78C6)
  2. Clark, George T. Papers. 2 linear feet. Call Number SC 292.
  3. Davis, Margo, and Nilan, Roxanne. The Stanford Album: a Photographic History, 1885-1945. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989.
  4. Haas, Robert Bartlett. Muybridge: Man in Motion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976. Two copies located in Special Collections Reading Room, Archives Section, 982014 Haas; and TR849.M87.H3 in Special Collections ranges.)
  5. Harris, David, with Sandweiss, Eric. Eadweard Muybridge and the Photographic Panorama of San Francisco, 1850-1880. Montreal: Centre Canadien d'Architecture, 1993. Distributed by the MIT Press. (Call Number RBC F869.53.M78 1993 F)
  6. Hendricks, Gordon. Eadweard Muybridge: The Father of Motion Pictures. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1975. (Located in Special Collections Reading Room, Archives Section, 9820/4 Hend)
  7. Hittell, John Shertzer. Yosemite; Its Wonders and Its Beauties. San Francisco: H. H. Bancroft & Co., 1868. (Call Number RBC scrb 871204 00002, in the Associates Case; must be paged.)
  8. Hoyt, Edwin P. Leland Stanford: A Biography of the Governor of California Who Built a Controversial Railroad and Founded a Great University. New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1967. (Call Number E664.578.H6, in the Archives Section of the Reading Room.)
  9. Jordan, David Starr. David Starr Jordan Papers, 1861-1964. 250 linear feet. (Call Number SC 058.)
  10. Kantor, J. R. K, "Muybridge View of Berkeley in 1874," California History, Vol.52, No.4 (Winter 1978-1979), pp.376-381. (Reference Desk: "Leland Stanford Junior" folder.)
  11. MacDonnell, Kevin. Eadweard Muybridge: the Man Who Invented the Moving Picture. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1972. (Call Number 9820/4 MacD, in the Reading Room.)
  12. Miles, Walter. Walter Miles Collection. Call Number M736. 5 linear feet (7 boxes) of correspondence, ephemera, research material, photographs and negatives, publications, printing blocks and miscellaneous materials.
  13. Muybridge Collection. Call Number 9820/2-9 and 9820/8-9. 2 boxes. Clippings, correspondence, exhibit programs, Semi-Centennial Celebration materials.
  14. Muybridge, Eadweard. Animal Locomotion: An Electro-photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements. 4 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1887. (Call Number RBC TR14O.M92 ff.)
  15. Muybridge, Eadweard. Animal Locomotion: An Electro-photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements. "Prospectus and catalogue of plates." Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1887. (Call Number RBC TR140.M9.)
  16. Muybridge, Eadweard. Attitudes of Animals in Motion: A Series ofPhotographs . . . executed at Palo Alto, California, in 1878 and 1879. [San Francisco], 1881. (Call Number RBC TR14O.M93 f.)
  17. Muybridge, Eadweard. Descriptive Zoopraxography; or the Science of Animal Locomotion. Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1893. (Call Number RBC QP301.M188.)
  18. Muybridge, Eadweard. The Human Figure in Motion; an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of muscular actions. "Commenced 1872. Completed 1885." London: Chapman & Hall, 1901. (Call Number RBC TR14O.M95 f.*)
  19. Muybridge, Eadweard. Muybridge's Complete Human and Animal Locomot:on: All 781 Plates from the 1887 Animal Locomotion. 3 vols. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1979. (Call Number RBC Ref QP3O1.M82 1979 f, located in the Reading Room in the folio range.)
  20. Muybridge, Eadweard. The Pacific Coast of Central America and Mexico; the Isthmus of Panama; and the Cultivation and Shipment of Coffee. San Francisco, 1876.
  21. Muybridge, Eadweard. Panoramic San Francisco, from California Street Hill, 1877. San Francisco, [1878]. (Call Number RBC TR14O.M98 1878 if].
  22. Muybridge, Eadweard. Panoramic San Francisco, from California Street Hill, 1877. San Francisco, T. C. Russell, [19?]. (Call Number RBC F869.53 M8)
  23. Muybridge, Eadweard. Photograph Collection, 1872-1880. Call Number PC 006. 37 photonegatives: glass. 1 photoprint: albumen.
  24. Muybridge, Eadweard. [Photographs of the Leland Stanford Mansion on California Street, San Francisco]. n.p., n.d. (Call Number RBC E664.578 M8)
  25. Muybridge, Eadweard. [Photographs of Stanford Carriages and Coachmen] . n.p., n.d. (Call Number SF, box 7)
  26. The Real West: Empire Builders. Video recording. Los Angeles: Greystone Production, 1993. (Call Number Archives V085).
  27. Stanford, Leland. Leland Stanford Collection. Call Number SC 512. 4 linear feet: 9 series comprised of 8 boxes. Series V is titled "Eadweard Muybridge," Box 6, folders 1 through 6.
  28. Stanford, Leland. Leland Stanford Papers. Call Number SC 033a. 5 linear feet: 9 series in 10 boxes. Biographical materials, correspondence, business and legal papers, political papers, speeches and interviews, university matters, autograph books, memorabilia and oversize materials.
  29. Stanford University Department of Art. Eadweard Muybridge; the Stanford Years, 1872-1882. Stanford: Stanford University, 1972. (Call Number RBC TR849.M8757).
  30. Stillman, J. D. B. The Horse in Motion: as Shown by Instantaneous Photography with a Stud Animal Mechanics . . . . "Executed and published under the auspices of Leland Stanford." Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1882. (Call Numbers: Archives 9820/4 Still; 9820/4; Archives 71-01616; RBC SF 289.S8 f, copies 1, 2 and 3).
  31. Treat, Archibald. Papers, 1883-1961. 0.25 linear feet (one box). Call Number SC 511.
  32. Tutorow, Norman E. Leland Stanford: Man of Many Careers. Menlo Park, California: Pacific Coast Publishers, 1971. (Call Number Ref. E664.578.T8 in the Archives Section of the reading room).
  33. Wood, Dallas E., and James, Norris E., eds. History of Palo Alto. Palo Alto: Arthur Cawston, 1939.
See the online catalog for books and other media in circulation in the Stanford libraries. Dover's modern editions of Muybridge's human and animal locomotion series may also be for sale at the Stanford Bookstore, and the bookstore stock is also searchable online.

Other sources not in online catalog or Reading-Room bibliographies:

Andersen, Thom. "Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer." Film. Los Angeles:
Motion Picture Division of the Theater Arts Department, UCLA 1974. M.F.A. Thesis,
broadcast over KCET-TV, Los Angeles PBS affiliate; grant from California Arts
Discovery Channel Online, Search for "Muybridge" to
find several sites within this one.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online. "Eadweard Muybridge, World Wide Web article on
subscription service]. Available at: Links from here include several on
this list.
Kingston Museum. Eadweard Muybridge of Kingston Upon Thames [World Wide Web
document]. Available at: Updated September 23,
Leggat, Robert. Eadweard Muybridge [World Wide Web document]. Available at: Updated March 1997.
Muybridge, Eadweard. Eadweard Muybridge Images from the Photographic Collections
of the William L. Clements Library [World Wide Web document]. Available at: (6 photographs with titles, subjects,
dates and other descriptive material).
Muybridge, Eadweard. "Evening Recreations of the Coffee Pickers, San Isidro,"
photograph on the World Wide Web. National Museum of American Art, Photography
Online. Available at: http:
Muybridge, Eadweard. "Valley of the Yosemite from Union Point," photograph on
the World Wide Web. National Museum of American Art, Photography Online. Available
at: http:
U. S. Naval Photographic Center. "Origins of the Motion Picture." Film. Castle
Films and the U.S. Office of Education, [1955]. (Filmmaker Jay Gordon reported that it was
shown at Edinburgh and Venice Film Festivals, and informally at Cannes.)
U.S. Patent Office. "Muybridge, Eadweard: Method and Apparatus for
Photographing Objects in Motion (Application filed June 27, 1878)." P. 136. Report.
Washington: U.S. Printing Office, 1879.
U.S. Patent Office. "Muybridge, Eadweard: Method and Apparatus for
Photographing Objects in Motion (Application filed June 27, 1878)." Official Gazette. P.310.
Washington: U. S. Printing Office, February 25, 1879.
Other Collections:

Most collections are listed in Hendricks's biography (See above.), but there are reports of others.

  1. Huntington, Collis P. Papers. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Library.
  2. Muybridge, Edweard. Some stereos of the Modoc War. San Francisco: San Francisco College of Women.
  3. Muybridge, Edweard. Some materials on indefinite loan from the Kingston-Upon- Thames Public Library are at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.
Copyright note: This biographical note and annotated bibliography were created as a work for hire for Stanford University.
--Arel Lucas, MLIS