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Peter Palmquist collection of male photographers in the American west

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2733

Scope and Contents

The collection includes information about and examples of the work of male amateur and commercial photographers, studio assistants, photographic processors, colorists, and photojournalists collected by Peter Palmquist from 1971 until his death in 2003. The collection, which documents the practice and occupation of photography in the American West, consists of biographical files for more than nine thousand men and businesses, as well as photographs and ancillary materials that represent the work of more than two thousand individuals and firms. A database [http://palmquist-mpaw.beinecke.library.yale.edu/] provides name access to biographical files, as well as information regarding their aliases, working locations, life dates, and work dates. Individual photographers represented by significant quantities of material in the collection include Frank C. Aston, Walter T. Fitch, Louis Herman Heller, Thomas Houseworth, Benjamin Franklin Howland, Charles Wallace Jacob Johnson, George Daniels Morse, John Pitcher Spooner, Isaiah West Taber, Robert H. Vance, Carleton E. Watkins, and Chester L. Weed. Firms with substantial groups of material in the collection include Bradley & Rulofson, the Bushnell Photo Company, and The Imperial Studio.

Dates

  • circa 1840-2003

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Peter E. Palmquist Collection of Male Photographers in the American West 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. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Peter E. Palmquist on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2003.

Arrangement

Organized into two series: I. Research Files, 1888-2003. II. Photographic Materials, circa 1840-2003.

Associated Materials

Biographical information and photographic materials related to women photographers active in the American West are included in the Peter Palmquist Collection of Women in Photography (WA MSS S-2600). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Biographical information and photographic materials related to male photographers active in Humboldt County, California, are included in the Peter Palmquist Collection of Humboldt County, California, Male Photographers (WA MSS S-2670). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Cased photographs related to male photographers active in the American West are included in the Peter Palmquist Cased Photographs Collection (WA Photos 402). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Books and periodicals formerly in the personal library of Peter Palmquist are accessible via the library catalog by searching special collections for the search string: "Palmquist, Peter E., Ownership."

Extent

160.34 Linear Feet ((592 boxes) + 3 broadside folders)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.palmquistmale

Overview

The collection includes information about and examples of the work of male amateur and commercial photographers, studio assistants, photographic processors, colorists, and photojournalists collected by Peter Palmquist from 1971 until his death in 2003. The collection, which documents the practice and occupation of photography in the American west, circa 1840 to circa 1900, consists of biographical files for more than nine thousand men and businesses, as well as photographs and ancillary materials that represent the work of more than two thousand individuals and firms.

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 to 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, and a president of the National Stereoscopic Association.

Palmquist died January 13, 2003, in Oakland.

Processing Information

The biographical information in this finding aid derived mainly from word processing files originally created by Palmquist and his assistants.

This collection received a basic level of processing in 2011-2012, including rehousing and organization. Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Title
Guide to the Peter E. Palmquist Collection of Male Photographers in the American West
Author
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
July 2012
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

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

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.