Skip to main content

Photographs of the American West

Call Number: WA Photos Folio 75

Scope and Contents

This collection includes portfolios of photographs and panoramic photographs created by Halverson that document the American West, 1987-2017.

Photographs of the Colorado River, 1994-1995, chronicle Halverson's exploration of the river from its tributaries, the Gunnison River and Green River, through its main length, including sites along the river in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Sonora, Mexico.

Photographs of Basin & Range, 1987-2004, consists of images created by Halverson that explore a semiarid region of the western United States, also known as the Great Basin. This region extends from the Sierra Nevada on the west to the Wasatch Range on the east and from the Columbia Plateau in the north to the Mojave Desert in the south.

Mulholland: Nature and Culture in Los Angeles, 1991-2006, depicts views along Mulholland Highway and Mulholland Drive, a scenic road in Los Angeles County, California, that runs from California Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) near Malibu along the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains to Hollywood.

Dakota Survey, 2011, depicts views of sites in North Dakota and South Dakota with an emphasis on lines and grids in the landscape.

Some Buildings in Marfa, 2017, documents buildings and sites at Marfa, Texas.

Most photographs in the collection are color inkjet prints with dimensions of 61.0 x 50.8 centimeters, and the panoramic prints have dimensions 40.6 x 121.9 centimeters.


  • 1987-2017


Physical Description

230 prints : inkjet, color ; 61.0 x 50.8 cm.

Physical Description

12 prints : inkjet, color ; 40.6 x 121.9 cm.

General Physical Description note

1 volume ; 22 cm

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Karen Halverson Photographs of 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 Karen Halverson on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2010-2020.


Organized into four series: I. The Colorado River, 1994-1995. II. Basin & Range, 1987-2004. III. Mulholland: Nature and Culture in Los Angeles, 1991-2006. IV. Dakota Survey, 2011. V. Some Buildings in Marfa, 2017.


104 Linear Feet (33 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


This collection includes portfolios of photographs and panoramic photographs created by Halverson that document the American West, 1987-2017.

Karen Halverson (born 1941)

Karen Halverson is a documentary landscape photographer. Born in Syracuse, New York, Halverson received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and Masters of Arts from Brandeis University and Columbia University. In 1975, she made her first photographic project, which documented the Garment District in New York City. Much of her work documents the tension between the natural and cultural landscapes of the American West. She is the author of Downstream: Encounters with the Colorado River (University of California Press, 2008), which retraces the route of John Wesley Powell’s expeditions and explores what contemporary Americans have made of the waterway.

General note

Title devised by cataloger.

General note

Stored in 33 boxes.

General note

Each portfolio consists of 60 inkjet prints, 61.0 x 50.8 cm., and 4 inkjet prints, 40.6 x 121.9 cm, except for the Dakota Survey, which consists of 20 inkjet prints, 61.0 x 50.8 cm, and Some Buildings in Marfa, which consists of 30 inkjet prints, 61.0 x 50.8 cm.

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.

Guide to the Karen Halverson Photographs of the American West
by Matthew Daniel Mason
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
(203) 432-2977


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.