Joseph Elam Stimson Photographs
Scope and Contents
Photographs chiefly of Wyoming and Utah as well as California, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park, 1889-1921, and related primarily to the Union Pacific Railroad Company as well as natural and agricultural sites along its routes.
The collection includes 316 discrete images with occasional duplicate photographic prints predominately printed as gelatin silver prints with examples of albumen prints and cyanotypes.
Sites documented in the collection include 152 images of Wyoming, 45 images of Utah, 24 images each for Idaho and Nebraska, 21 images in California, including two images of the border with Nevada, as well as 14 images in Nevada, six images each in Colorado and Yellowstone National Park, and three images in South Dakota.
- Stimson, Joseph Elam, 1870-1952 (Photographer)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Joseph Elam Stimson Photographs is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.
Copyright for images in the Joseph Elam Stimson Photographs is held by the state of Wyoming and administered by the Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Andrew Smith Gallery Inc. on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2019.
Organized into one series: I. Photographs, 1889-1921.
1.68 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
Photographs chiefly of Wyoming and Utah as well as California, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park, 1889-1921, and related primarily to the Union Pacific Railroad as well as natural and agricultural sites along its routes.
Joseph Elam Stimson (1870-1952)
Joseph Elam Stimson was born at Brandy Station, Virginia, and his early childhood in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Around 1883, he and his parents, Maria Jane Hudson Stimson (1838-1929) and William Stimson (1837-1884) as well as six siblings moved to Pawnee City, Nebraska.
In 1886, Stimson worked as a photographers' apprentice for his cousin James Elam Hamilton Stimson (1860-1946) at Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1889, probably following two brothers who worked for the Union Pacific Railroad Company, Stimson moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and by July he had purchased the photographic studio of Karl Otto Eitner (born 1856). Over the next six decades, Stimson captured images of Wyoming as well as sites throughout the American West and earned a reputation for his landscape photography.
In 1901, the Union Pacific Railroad Company hired Stimson as a publicity photographer. In 1904, the state of Wyoming commissioned Stimson to create a photographic display that year for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at Saint Louis, Missouri, as well as for the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition at Portland, Oregon, in 1906.
In 1894, Stimson married Anna Catherine Peterson (1874-1938) and they had three daughters. After the death of his wife, he became semi-retired.
Stimson died in 1952. Shortly thereafter the state of Wyoming purchased his original glass negatives and other material created by Stimson as well as copyright to his images from his estate, which principally form the Joseph E. Stimson Photograph Collection and J. E. Stimson Papers at the Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
This material is open for research.
During the description of material in this collection the processing archivist compared photographic prints in the collection with digital surrogates of the source photographic negatives as well as a manuscript negative logbook that respectively form portions of the Joseph E. Stimson Collection and J. E. Stimson Papers at the Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
- Agriculture -- West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works
- Albumen prints
- California -- Pictorial works
- Colorado -- Pictorial works
- Cyanotypes (photographic prints)
- Gelatin silver prints
- Idaho -- Pictorial works
- Landscape photography -- West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works
- Nebraska -- Pictorial works
- Nevada -- Pictorial works
- Railroads -- West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works
- South Dakota -- Pictorial works
- Union Pacific Railroad Company -- Pictorial works
- Utah -- Pictorial works
- Wyoming -- Pictorial works
- Yellowstone National Park -- Pictorial works
- Guide to the Joseph Elam Stimson Photographs
- Matthew Daniel Mason
- January 2021
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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