William Henry Jackson was arguably the premier frontier photographer of his age. Jackson's photographs helped convince congress to create Yellowstone National Park in 1872 and introduced Eastern America and Europe to the landscape of the American West. The 40,000 photographs he took during his lifetime remain an unmatched record of the expansion of the West in the last part of the nineteenth century.
Jackson was born in 1843 and grew up with a love of art and photography. He served as an artist during the Civil War and afterwards worked as a bullwhacker running from St. Joseph Missouri to Montana. Jackson obtained employment in an Omaha, Nebraska photo gallery before opening his own portrait studio with his brother, Edward. In 1869 he photographed construction along the route of the Union Pacific Railroad with Arundel C. Hull. His photographs of the railroad and his studio portraits of local Indians captured the attention of Ferdinand V. Hayden who asked Jackson to accompany him on his 1870 expedition into the Utah and Wyoming Territories. Jackson would receive no salary during the expedition, only expenses, but he became a paid government employee the following year. Jackson remained with the Hayden Survey until 1878. This collection represents only a handful of the more than 2,000 photographs taken during those years.
Jackson went on to document the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, and the ever-expanding empire of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in Colorado and Utah. His fame propelled him into a photographic expedition in 1894-95 that took him to England, Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand, the East Indies, China, Japan, and Russia. Jackson later turned to historical and landscape painting before he died in 1942 at the age of ninety-nine.
The William Henry Jackson Albertypes Collection consists of eleven reproductions of photographs taken by William Henry Jackson during his time with Ferdinand V. Hayden and the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories in the 1870s. The albertypes (a photo-mechanical printing process) were made from Jackson's photographs by Edward Bierstadt. The photos were taken in northern Utah, Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, and Montana.
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Permission to publish material from the William Henry Jackson Hayden survey albertypes must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.
View selected digitized images from the Harry Reuben Reynolds photograph collection.
William Henry Jackson Hayden survey albertypes, 1871-1878. (P0345). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.
|1||1:01: "Plate I, Camp at Ogden, Utah, Wasatch Mountains." Men standing around a camp of canvas tents and wagons below the Wasatch Mountains|
|1||1:02: "Plate II, Ogden Cañon, Wasatch Mountains." Five men looking at upthrust vertical rock formation by a river|
|1||1:03: "Plate III, Red Rock Pass." One wagon with a two-horse team, three pack horses, and a group of men standing on a rutted road in Cache Valley, Utah|
|1||1:04: "Plate IV, White Mountain Hot Springs, Group of Upper Basins." Man climbing on cascading geothermal formation, in what is now Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming|
|1||1:05-06: "Plate VI, Snake River." River winding through a volcanic plain. "Plate VII, Balsaltic Rocks, On Snake River." Close-up of volcanic rocks|
|1||1:06: "Plate IX, White Mountain Hot Springs, Cap of Liberty - near view." Geothermal formation in what is now Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming|
|1||1:07: "Plate XII, Hydraulic Gold Mining, Alder Gulch - near Virginia City." Men working water cannons as they eat away at the side of a gulch, with the runoff flowing into sluice boxes|
|1||1:08: "Plate XIII, Fort Ellis, Montana." View of town situated in a broad plain, with mountains in background|
|1||1:09: "Plate XIV, Mystic Lake - near Fort Ellis." Scenic view of a valley with lake visible in the background|
|1||1:10: "Plate XVIII, Bottler's Ranch - Opposite Emigrant Peak." Men standing by log fence, rough-hewn lumber building on right, log cabin in background, appears to be animal carcasses hanging from rafters of rough-hewn lumber building|
|1||1:11: "Plate XIX, Emigrant Peak." Camp of wagons, canvas tents in foreground on the plains, treeline of a creek in middle of frame, mountains in background|