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Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection


Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Photographs

Southern Methodist University

Collection of William Henry Jackson photographs, 1870/1900:

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942.
Title: Collection of William Henry Jackson photographs
Dates: circa 1879-1900.
Abstract: William Henry Jackson was an American photographer, artist and explorer. This collection contains photographs by William Henry Jackson of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah including views of towns, shops, building construction, stagecoaches, railroad tracks, trains, smelting works, mining, geological formations, cliff dwellings, tunnels, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company, and Colorado Midland Railway Company, from circa 1879 to circa 1900.
Accession No: Ag1982.0184
Quantity 3 boxes (137 photographic prints)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

American photographer, artist and explorer, William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) led a long and productive life. Jackson was born in Keeseville, New York, on April 4, 1843. He started drawing at a very young age and learned the basics of watercolor painting from his mother and Chapman’s American Drawing Book. Jackson’s formal education stopped around the age of 15, when he graduated from Old Fourth Ward School in Troy, New York. Between 1858 and 1862, he worked as a photographer’s assistant in charge of retouching and coloring, first in Troy, and then in Rutland, Vermont. During the Civil War, Jackson served with the 12th Vermont Infantry (August, 1862-July, 1863). He returned to the retouching job in Rutland in 1863. In 1866 he left the East for the American frontier and, after a series of odd jobs (bullwhacker, vaquero driver, a failed attempt to become a silver miner), he became a colorist for the Hamilton Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1867, together with his younger brother, Edward, Jackson opened the "Jackson Brothers, Photographers," studio in Omaha.

Not satisfied with studio portrait photography, Jackson started taking the camera outdoors and taking views of Nebraska’s landscapes, along the Union Pacific Railroad. He also photographed several Native American tribes, some of whom had never been photographed before. Jackson became most interested in the picturesque opportunities offered by rugged landscapes, such as Utah and Wyoming. By 1869, he was producing 8 x 10-inch negatives, as well as stereoscopic views, and had established a name as a landscape photographer.

In 1870, F.V. Hayden, leader of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories, invited Jackson on the survey of Wyoming as an unpaid photographer. At the end of the summer, Jackson accepted Hayden’s offer of employment and held the position of official photographer of Hayden’s surveys until 1878. The hiring contract stipulated that all negatives made on the surveys were to be property of the USGS.

In the summer of 1871, Jackson accompanied Hayden’s survey in the Yellowstone region. He started a long friendship with the painter Thomas Moran, who also joined the survey that year. Jackson’s photographs helped convince the Congress to vote for the Yellowstone National Park bill in 1872. In the following seasons, Jackson documented Hayden’s survey in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Colorado. His subjects included, among others, the Mount of the Holy Cross (1873), the Ute reservation at Las Pinos, Colorado, and cliff ruins in Mancos Canyon, near Mesa Verde, Colorado (1874). In 1876, Jackson supervised the USGS exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where he displayed some of his most spectacular landscape photographs, as well as Indian portraits and artifacts.

In 1879, Jackson moved to Denver and opened a commercial studio: "The Jackson Photographic Co." He photographed Leadville, Colorado, a mining town. Between 1881 and 1884, he partnered with Albert E. Rinehart, a portrait photographer, under the name "Jackson and Rinehart." Jackson started using the dry-plate process exclusively. He also started taking commissions from various railroad companies to support his photographic trips and advertise the scenery along the railroads. He took trips and photographed around the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada. Between 1894 and 1896, Jackson was the official photographer of the World Transportation Commission on a tour researching public transportation. The group visited Africa, India, and Russia. Harper’s Weekly hired Jackson to document the trip and published many of his photographs.

In 1897, as a result of a financial crisis of his studio in Denver, Jackson accepted a job with the Detroit Publishing Company, as director of its subsidiary, the Photochrom Company of Detroit. He also owned stock in the company. He photographed landscape in the United States, as well as Cuba, the Bahamas, and Venezuela. After a long successful period, the Photochrom Company demised and Jackson retired in 1924. In 1929, he became Research Secretary for the Oregon Trail Memorial Association. In 1936, the Department of the Interior commissioned Jackson for a series of mural paintings commemorating the four early geological surveys: Hayden, King, Wheeler, and Powell. He also painted for the National Park Service and executed watercolors for the publication of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association. His work involved extensive traveling, even when he was in his nineties.

During his long career, Jackson employed several photographic techniques, such as wet-plate and dry-plate. Besides numerous stereographs, he produced larger size negatives, from 5 x 8 inches to 20 x 22 inches. Most times, he took at least two different size cameras on his trips.

William Henry Jackson died on June 30, 1942, at the age of 99.


Hales, Peter B. 1988. William Henry Jackson and the Transformation of the American Landscape. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Newhall, Beaumont and Diana E. Edkins. 1974. William Henry Jackson. With critical essay by William L. Broecker. Fort Worth: Morgan & Morgan for Amon Carter Museum.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of 137 photographs of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah taken by William Henry Jackson between circa 1879 and circa 1900. They are arranged in sequential order according to Jackson’s negative numbers, which are visible on the photographs along with his caption. The inscription "W.H.J. &Co." follows the caption on some of the images. Some of the photographs include paragraph-long descriptions of the subjects on verso. The photographs are albumen prints of various sizes. Most are 6 ½ x 4 ¼ inches mounted on a larger board. One folder contains 19 7½ x 4 ¼ inches photographs. The collection includes smaller and larger sizes as well. Some photographs are not mounted. Most photographs represent scenery (especially of Colorado), railroads (with or without trains), mining town life scenes, mines and ranches.

In addition, the DeGolyer Library holds approximately 360 photographs and stereographs by Jackson in other collections.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 1 series:
Series 1: Photographs

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Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use. Appointments are not necessary. However, due to the fragile nature of these materials, if you are planning to visit, an appointment would be appreciated.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which DeGolyer Library assumes no responsibility.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company -- Photographs.
Colorado Midland Railway Company -- Photographs.
Railroads -- United States -- Photographs.
Mineral industries -- United States -- Photographs.
Photography of railroads -- United States.
Colorado -- Photographs.
New Mexico -- Photographs.
Utah -- Photographs.
Albumen prints.

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Related Materials

Other photographs by William Henry Jackson can be found in the following collections:

Views of Mexico, ca. 1870-1890. 1 disbound album of 94 albumen prints – some possibly by Jackson (Ag1982.0027)

Colorado, California, Oregon and Alaska views, ca. 1880-1890. 1 disbound album of 50 albumen prints by several photographers; 5 photographs of Colorado by William Henry Jackson (“Pikes’ Peak,” “Mayor Domo Eyrie Glen,” “Tower of Babel,” “Balanced Rock”) (Ag1982.0058)

Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1870s-1890s. 1 album of 358 views of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 6 views by Jackson at the end of the album (Ag1982.0068)

Album of views in the United States, 1880-1895. 1 album of 167 photographic prints with some photographs by William Henry Jackson (Ag1982.0111)

Album of views of Colorado, Utah and California, 1890-1901. 1 album (Ag1982.0113x)

Album of views of Arizona, New Mexico and the southwest, 1892. One unpublished album of views of Arizona and New Mexico by William Henry Jackson, including fold-out panoramas (Ag1982.0122x). Digital reproductions can be accessed online at Album of views of Arizona, New Mexico and the southwest

Les Geysers d’Amerique, 1871-1875. 1 album of 26 photographic prints of geysers and geological formations in Yellowstone National Park by made during the U.S. Geological Survey expedition under F.V. Hayden (Ag1982.0124x). Digital reproductions can be accessed online at Les Geysers d’Amerique

Lantern slides of Mexico, California and Colorado, 1890-1900. 25 glass lantern slides (Ag1984.0301). Digital reproductions can be accessed online at Lantern slides of Mexico, California and Colorado

Railroad photographs. Miscellaneous group of 6 photographs including 2 large albumen prints from mammoth plates by William Henry Jackson: #1052: "Chipeta Falls –Black Canon of the Gunnison"; #1309: "Canon of the River Las Animas and the Needle Mts." (Ag1984.0320x)

Colorado, 1870-1885. 1 album, 15 photographic prints of scenery and railroads (Ag1984.0337x). Digital reproductions can be accessed online at Colorado

Calvin D. Kingman collection of western photographs, 1880-1890. (Ag1986.0553)

Marshall Pass, Colorado and Moki Indian woman, 1902. 2 color photographic prints (Ag1991.0808x)

The narrow gauge railroad story, 1886-1899. 5 photographic prints (Ag1993.0876)

Colorado, 1890. 1 album, 47 photographic prints (Ag1996.1077)

New Mexico and Colorado views, 1886. 16 photographic prints of the southwest (Ag1996.1079)

William Henry Jackson stereographs, 1872-1890. 139 photographic prints on stereo cards, many taken during the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories under Prof. F.V. Hayden, 1872-1873 (Ag1997.1150)

Views of Mexico, 1875-1890. 23 photographic prints (Ag1999.1255). Views of Mexico

Books in DeGolyer Library:

F722.U56 1873 Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, 1873. 37 mounted photographs. Also in microfilm Mf80.01 reel 565, no. 5792. The DeGolyer illustrated book has been fully digitized. Digital reproductions can be accessed online at Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories

F594.U5 1869 Union Pacific Railroad Illustrations, 1869. 29 leaves of mounted photographs by Andrew Joseph Russell and William Henry Jackson.

F827.J33 1800z Denver and Rio Grande R’Y. Utah extension, 1875. Small album with 16 mounted photographs.

Folio-2 F784.D4 C46 1882 Centennial State, 1776-1882: a memorial offering of the business men and pioneers of Denver, Colorado, 1882. 149 mounted albumen photographs: 46 by William Henry Jackson (architecture, city views, mining, railroads, and landscape views) and 103 by Albert Rinehart (portraits).

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Collection of William Henry Jackson photographs, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Finding aid written by Ada Negraru, 2007.

Inventory by Suzanne Jackson, 2007.

Edited by Anne E. Peterson, 2007.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2007.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Photographs

Print numbers are listed before each item description when available.
Box Folder
1 1 84 - Buena Vista Mines Pikes Peak on Wilson Creek
190 - Royal Gorge, Grand Canyon of the Arkansas in Denver, Colorado
213 - Georgetown, Colorado from the East
231 - Tabor Opera House in Denver, Colorado
238 - Union Depot in Denver, Colorado
Box Folder
1 2 401 - Soda Springs and Cliff House in Manitou, Colorado
403?- Navajo Manitou Soda Springs, Colorado
406 - Ute Pass in Denver, Colorado
406 - Ute Pass in Denver, Colorado
421 - U.S. Signal Station on Pike’s Peak in Colorado
424 - Manitou, Colorado
433 - Summit of Pike’s Peak, Colorado
434 - Manitou, Colorado Bath House
452 - Tijon Street in Colorado Springs, Colorado
602 - Balanced Rock. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
604 - Cathedral Spires. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
605A - The Seal and Bear. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
608 - Gateway and Pike’s Peak, Garden of the Gods, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
626 - Gateway, "Diana’s Temple," Perry Park, Colorado
638 - Mushroom Rocks. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
646 - The Three Graces. Garden of the Gods, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
668 - Aspen, Colorado. General view. 7 ½ x 4 ¼
677 - Road to Manitou Caverns, Colorado, not mounted
681 - Donkey Party, Manitou, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
Box Folder
1 3 783 - Soda Springs, Colorado
801 - Royal Gorge of the Arkansas, Colorado
801 - Royal Gorge of the Arkansas, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
805 - Grand Canyon of the Arkansas, Colorado
809 - Royal Gorge, Colorado
812 - Suspended Bridge in the Royal Gorge, Colorado. Mounted with 813.
813 - Passing trains in the Royal Gorge, Colorado. Mounted with 812. On the back of 812 and 813: 1013: In Marshall Pass.
814A - Rift in the Royal Gorge, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
832 - Mines in Eagle River Canyon, Leadville, Colorado. Not mounted.
862 - The Pool. Glenwood Baths, Colorado
961 - Chalk Creek Canyon, Colorado
Box Folder
1 4 1002 - The Seal and Bear. Garden of the Gods, Colorado
1005 - The Sangre de Cristo from Marshall Pass, Colorado
1006 - Marshall Pass, Colorado
1007 - Marshall Pass, Colorado
1008 - Marshall Pass. Mt. Ouray, Colorado
1010 - Marshall Pass. Mt. Ouray.
1056 - Around Windy Point, M and P.P. R Y
1120 - Manitou Springs
1201 - Leadville, Colorado. Not mounted.
1201 - Leadville, Colorado. Not mounted.
1211 - View from the Court House. Leadville
1240 - Tabor Grand. Leadville, Colorado
Box Folder
1 5 1426 - Post Office at Creede, Colorado
1427 - Upper Creede, Colorado
1428 - Creede, Colorado
1429 - The "Holy Moses." Creede, Colorado
1431 - Creede, Colorado
1432 - Lower Creede, Colorado. Not mounted.
1432 - Lower Creede, Colorado
1433 - Creede, Colorado
1434 - Creede, Colorado
1436 - Creede, Colorado
1439 - Creede
1440 - Creede
1441 - Creede, Colorado
1442 - Creede, Colorado
1607 - West End Toltec tunnel. Not mounted.
1802 - Mother Grundy, Clear Creek Canon
1810 - Georgetown from Griffith Mountain
1828 - High Bridge in Loop, Colorado. W.H.J. & C.P.
1842 - Panorama from Gray’s Peak, Southwest
Box Folder
2 1 2415 - James’ Ranch Estes’ Park (Colorado). W.H.J. & Co., Denver. Not mounted.
2802 - Pueblo de Taos, New Mexico
3001 - San Francisco Street. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Not mounted.
3176 - The Antlers and Pike’s Peak, Detroit Photographic Co., Colorado Springs, Colorado
3253 - Camp in Baker’s Park (Colorado)
3257 - Elk Park Animas Canon (Colorado)
3257 - On Marshall Pass Above Mears. W.H.J. &Co. 9 ½ x 6. Not mounted.
3286 - Pueblo Smelting Works
3290 - The Lower Twin Lake and Mt. Elbert, Colorado. Not mounted.
3462 - Florissant from the North, Colorado, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
3463 - Stager for Cripple Creek at Florissant, 7 ½ x 4 ¼
3464 - Changing Horses at the Halfway House to Cripple Creek
3466 - The Arrival of Stages at Fremont, Cripple Creek
3468 - Stage Arrival at Fremont, Cripple Creek
3470 - Fremont and Mt. Pisgar
3471 - Fremont, February 1892, Cripple Creek
3472 - Main Street. Fremont, Cripple Creek
3473 - A Scene in Cripple Creek
3474 - First Bank at Cripple Creek
3475 - First Court House in Cripple Creek, Fremont
3476 - Merchant at Cripple Creek, Fremont
3477 - First Post Office in Cripple Creek, Fremont
3479 - The Cripple Creek Crusher
3480 - Panning Gold at Cripple Creek
3482 - Gold King and Cripple Creek Midnight Mines
3483 - Mining
3486 - The Cripple Creek Country Looking West
Box Folder
2 2 3619 - A Cowboy
3630 - A "Dug Out"
3632 - A Mountain Ranch (E.H. Allen)
3667 - Rocky Mountain Water Carrier
3822 - Cliff Palace. Mesa Verde. Copyright W.H.J. &Co. 1893
Box Folder
2 3 4401 - Chipeta Falls. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
4407 - Chipeta Falls. Black Canyon
4408 - Approaching the Black Canyon
4429 - Castle Gate
4429 - Castle Gate, Utah, Price Canyon
5805 - Ouray
6002A - East from Iron Spring Station. Colorado Midland RR.
6004 - Tunnels 4 and 5. W.H.J. &Co. Not mounted.
6016 - Tunnels 12 and 13. Colorado Midland. Not mounted.
6017 - West from Tunnel 13. Colorado Midland. W.H.J. &Co. Not mounted.
6037 - In Ute Pass. Colorado Midland Series. W.H.J. &Co.
Box Folder
2 4 (Unknown number) - Ridgeway, Colorado
(Unknown number) - Manitou, Colorado
(Unknown number) - The Glenar Chief’s Squaw and Papoose. South Table Mtn. Golden Toltec Gorge and Vicinity
(Unknown number) - Capitol Hill. The Divide. Pikes Peak
(Unknown number) - Summit of Pike’s Peak 14,147 feet above the sea.
(Unknown number) - Gateway. Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak 1881 (?)
(Unknown number) - Gateway. Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak 1881 (?) – 2nd copy
231 - Tabor Grand Opera House, Denver
233 - Court House, Colorado, Denver
249 - Panorama of Denver no. 4 [from Capitol Hill]
250 - Panorama of Denver no. 5 [from Capitol Hill]
801 - Grand Canyon of the Arkansas
804? - Royal Gorge [from below]
(unknown number) - Royal Gorge [from below]
(unknown number) - Black Canyon, Currecanti Needle
4226 - Upper Creede
4227 - Upper Creede
4228 - Main Street, Upper Creede
4229 - "Holy Moses" Mine
4230 - Profile of "Holy Moses"
4231 - Street in Lower Creede
4232 - Lower Creede
4233 - North Willow Canyon
4234 - Creede South Willow Canyon
4235 - Creede, Colorado near Junction
4236 - Fremont and Mt. Pisgah
4237 - Fremont, Cripple Creek, CO Fremont from the West
4238 - Buena Vista Mine and Pike’s Peak
(Unknown number) - St. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe
(Unknown number) - Church of Santa Guadalupe, Santa Fe, 1884

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