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William E. Irwin Photographs collection

 Collection
Call Number: WA Photos 516

Scope and Contents

Photographs of sites and individuals in Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, as well as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and other sites in the American West, circa 1893-1935, chiefly created by William E. Irwin, as well as by his brothers, John Allison Irwin and Marvin Elmore Irwin.

A significant portion of the collection documents American Indians, including Comanche Indians and Kiowa Indians, in the Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, circa 1893 to 1903. These images created by William E. Irwin and his partner S. Jack Mankins that include portraits of individuals, couples, and families, as well as views of settlements and structures. The collection also includes photographs of the territories and American Indians created by William J. Lenny and William L. Sawyers, circa 1889-1891.

Other substantial portions of the collection include landscape views of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, as well as hunting parties for deer and fowl in the states, circa 1893-1945. Many of the images include members of the Irwin family or property owned by them, such as the Buck Horn Ranch near Lometa, Texas, owned by William Pinkney "Pink" Irwin. Images of Arizona also include overviews of mining operations, especially in and around Bisbee.

A small portion of the collection documents activities in northern Mexico. These images include deer and puma hunting parties in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains and Mexican-American Border region in 1907 and 1910. Groups of images relate to the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1913, including the aftermath of the Battle of Naco in April 1913, as well as portraits of Álvaro Obregón Salido and Venustiano Carranza de la Garza. Images of other states in the American West document trips to Alaska, California, Colorado, and Yellowstone National Park.

The collection also includes portraits of the extended Irwin family and friends, as well as a small group of ephemera that documents tax receipts for land in Texas.

The collection includes different photographic presentation methods of the same image, including unmounted and mounted photographic prints, as well as cabinet photographs and photographic postcards. Many discrete images in the collection share the same inscriptions in the negative or on their versos. Additionally, photographers frequently printed images of clouds in landscape views using separate negatives.

Dates

  • 1885-1945

Creator

Language of Materials

Manuscript inscriptions in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The William E. Irwin Photograph Collection 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 Michael Vinson on the Walter McClintock Memorial Fund, 2011.

Arrangement

Organized into twelve series: I. Alaska, circa 1900. II. Arizona, circa 1904-1945. III. California, 1927-1944. IV. Colorado, circa 1904-1935. V. Mexico, 1907-1913. VI. New Mexico, circa 1904-1935. VII. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, circa 1893-1903. VIII. Portraits of American Indians, circa 1893-1903. IX. Texas, circa 1893-1940. X. Yellowstone National Park, circa 1895-1905. XI. Irwin Family, 1885-circa 1930. XII. Collected Photographs, circa 1889-1940.

Associated Materials

William E. Irwin, Photographs of Kiowa and Comanche Indians (WA Photos 225). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Extent

7.6 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.irwinwilliame

Overview

Photographs of sites and individuals in Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, as well as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and other places in the American West, circa 1893-1935, chiefly created by William E. Irwin, as well as by his brothers, John Allison Irwin and Marvin Elmore Irwin.

William E. Irwin (1871-1935)

William Edward "Ed" Irwin (1871-1935) was a photographer active in Indian Territory, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, as well as other places in the American West, circa 1893-1935. He was born in Red Oak, Missouri, a son of William Pinkney "Pink" Irwin (1848-1924) and Mary Frances "Molly" Elmore Irwin (1849-1943). He had two brothers who also worked as photographers, John Allison Irwin (1869-1942), and Marvin Elmore Irwin (1881-1961), as well as two sisters, Lou Ida Irwin (1873-1873) and Minnie Pearl Irwin Bock Mitchell Sawyers (1878-1963). Between 1873 and 1878, the Irwin family moved from Missouri to their Buck Horn Ranch near Lometa in Lampasas County, Texas.

Around 1893, Ed Irwin learned photography from J. H. Hurl in Texas, and opened a photography studio in Chickasha, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). Around 1895, he became partners with S. Jack Mankins (1871-1910), and they operated a photography studio, Irwin & Mankins, also known as the Blue Tent Gallery, in Chickasha until 1903, as well as studios in Duncan, Indian Territory, and Richmond, Texas. In 1903, Ed probably was a partner in the Irwin-Walk Studio in Lampasas, Texas.

In July 1900, Ed married Carrie Matilda "Tillie" Allen Irwin (1878-1922). In 1904, they relocated briefly to Silver City, New Mexico, where they likely continued to own a ranch, and then to Bisbee, Arizona, where Ed operated a studio with his brothers, John and Marvin, until 1922. Marvin also operated a photography studio in Douglas, Arizona, from 1912 to 1945.

In 1922, Ed moved his studio to Douglas, Arizona, probably collaborating with Marvin, and continued to photograph until his death.

Processing Information

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 William E. Irwin Photograph Collection
Author
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
2014
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.