Peter Palmquist collection of women in photography
Scope and Contents
The collection documents Palmquist's efforts to identify, collect, preserve, and disseminate information about women in photography.
The Biographical Files series provide excellent name-based access to information about more than thirty thousand individual women involved in photography. The biographical files allow for broad and deep studies of women in photography. Some files are not extensive. They derive from secondary material collected by Palmquist, as well as biographical profiles, professional vitae, advertising items, exhibition announcements, and reviews provided by photographers and historians of photography. The biographical materials also provides limited information for regional photographers, especially in California and the American West, and temporal studies of women photographers. A database https://libapp.library.yale.edu/Palmquist provides individual name access to women with biographical files in this series, as well as any available information regarding their aliases, working locations, life dates, and work dates.
The Photographic Materials series includes photographic images created by more than two thousand individual women photographers. These materials include vintage photographs created by women photographers, with a majority created before 1910, as well as copy photographs created by Palmquist. The majority of the early vintage photography represents the work of studio photographers and amateur photographers. The collection also includes a significant representation of works by art photographers.
The Publication and Exhibition Research series includes research files compiled by Palmquist to support projects on topics related to women photographers, including his book, With Nature's Children: Emma B. Freeman (1880-1928): Camera and Brush (1977). The final series consists of the records of Women in Photography International, a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to serve women photographers, photographic educators, photography students and gallery owners.
- circa 1840-2017
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Box 386 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Peter Palmquist Collection of Women in Photography is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary and image rights, including copyright, belong to the photographers and authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana,.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Peter E. Palmquist on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 1999.
Includes two gifts of Penny Brogden, 2011 and 2014.
Organized into four series: I. Biographical Materials, 1971-2003. II. Photographic Materials, 1971-2003. III. Publication and Exhibition Research, 1974-2003. IV. Women in Photography International Records, 1980-2003.
337.62 Linear Feet ((520 boxes) + 6 broadside folders)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of biographical files collected by Peter Palmquist for over thirty thousand women involved in photography and photographic materials that represent the work of nearly two thousand women. Palmquist began the Women in Photography International Archive in 1971 as a systematic study of women photographers in California, which then extended to the American West. By 1994, he broadened the collection to include women involved in photography since its beginning to contemporary times around the world. He included amateur and commercial photographers, studio assistants, retouchers, colorists, photojournalists, and filmmakers, as well as early critics of photography and characters in literary works.
Peter E. Palmquist (1936-2003)
A photographer, collector, and historian of photography, Peter Eric Palmquist was born in Oakland, California on September 23, 1936. In 1944, he moved with his family to Ferndale, California, and he spent most of his life in Humboldt County. During adolescence, Palmquist trained himself in photography. He served in the United States Army as a photographer from 1955 to 1959, mainly with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France. Palmquist worked briefly as a photographer for the state government of California from 1959-1961. From 1961 until his retirement in 1989, Palmquist worked as a staff photographer for Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, where he also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art in 1965.
From 1971 until his death, Palmquist collected textual materials and hundreds of thousands of photographic items documenting the practice and occupation of photography from its beginning through the turn of the twenty-first century. He had particular interests in early California photographers, photographers of the American West, and women photographers.
A self-trained researcher and historian of photography, Palmquist organized more than a hundred exhibitions and wrote more than three hundred articles and a hundred monographs. He was a founding editor of The Daguerreian Annual; president of the National Stereoscopic Association.
Peter Palmquist began the Women in Photography International Archive in 1971 as a systematic study of women photographers in California, which then extended to the American West. By 1994, he broadened the collection to include women involved in photography since its beginning to contemporary times around the world. He included amateur and commercial photographers, studio assistants, retouchers, colorists, photojournalists, and filmmakers, as well as early critics of photography and characters in literary works. For the collection, he and his assistants collected biographical and photographic materials that document the work and lives of these individuals.
Palmquist died January 13, 2003, in Oakland.
Women in Photography International
The collection includes the records of Women in Photography International is an educational nonprofit group founded in 1981 by Thea Litsios, Orah Moore, Mary McNally, and other wmen photographers in Los Angeles, California. The professional organization serves women photographers, photographic educators, photography students, and gallery owners around the world. It promotes women photographers and their work through programs, exhibitions, juried competitions and publications. The organization donated the bulk of its records to the Women in Photography International Archive maintained by Peter Palmquist in 1991, and supplemented by additional material over the ensuing years.
The biographical information in this finding aid derived mainly from word processing files originally created by Palmquist and his assistants.
The processing archivists occasionally added documentary material to the Biographical Files subseries in Series I to document authoritatively the identity of an individual or their life and work dates and working locations. This usually occurred when the photographer had photographic materials in Series II or when individuals shared the same name. This material consists mostly of printouts from census records or biographical authority databases, such as the Library of Congress Authorities, George Eastman House Photography Database, and the Getty Research Institute Union List of Artist Names.
- Biography files
- California -- Pictorial works
- Negatives (photographs)
- Palmquist, Peter E.
- Photograph albums
- Photographers -- Biography
- Photographers -- California
- Photographers -- West (U.S.)
- Photographic prints
- Photography -- Bio-bibliography
- Photography -- California
- Photography -- West (U.S.)
- Photography, Artistic
- Slides (photographs)
- West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works
- Women in Photography (U.S.)
- Women in Photography International Archive
- Women photographers
- Women photographers -- 19th century
- Women photographers -- 20th Century
- Women photographers -- Bio-bibliography
- Women photographers -- Biography
- Women photographers -- California
- Women photographers -- History
- Women photographers -- Miscellanea
- Women photographers -- Pictorial works
- Women photographers -- West (U.S.)
- Guide to the Peter Palmquist Collection of Women in Photography
- by Matthew Daniel Mason and Christopher Geissler
- May 2008
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.