Walter B. Beals album on Roald Amundsen, 1906-1929

Overview of the Collection

Beals, Walter B.
Walter B. Beals album on Roald Amundsen
1906-1929 (inclusive)
16 photographs in 1 album ( 1 box) ; 13 x 16 inches
Collection Number
Hand made album of photographs of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

Permission of Visual Materials Curator is required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Walter Burges Beals was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1876. Beals's family traveled west in 1897, and Beals enrolled in the newly founded University of Washington Law School; he and his future wife Othilia Carroll were members of the first graduating class of the school in 1901.

Beals served as a military officer in France during World War I and afterwards helped organize and found the American Legion. His legal career flourished in the 1920s, and in 1926, he accepted a position as judge of the Superior Court of King County. Beals became a member of the Washington State Supreme Court in 1928, a position he held until his retirement in 1950, twice holding the position of Chief Justice. Beals is perhaps best known for his work, in 1946-1947, as Presiding Judge at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremburg, the Nazi war trial known as the "Doctors' Trial."

Walter Beals was an avid collector of books, manuscripts, such as liturgical and religious manuscripts, and signatures, particularly those of European royalty. Beals also began creating albums as a young man, a hobby he continued throughout his life, collecting and soliciting signatures, manuscripts and other materials which he would mount on paper or vellum and bind into albums, often with leather covers. In his time, Beals was considered the greatest private collector of manuscripts and books in the Pacific Northwest.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The album consists of 16 photographs, one letter and one essay mounted on hand made paper and bound inside leather covers. The albums also contains an insert of treated airplane linen, possibly from one of Amundsen's aircraft. Some of the photographs are accompanied by captions typed on separate pieces of paper and glued into the album. Several of the photographs were taken by the Lomen Bros. studio or by Carl J. Lomen. The photographs are dated between 1906 and 1929.

All but one of the photographs depict polar explorer Roald Amundsen, or one of his means of travel, including the airship Norge , with which Amundsen flew over the North Pole on his way from Svalbard to Alaska in 1926, and the sailing ships Gjoa , with which Amundsen became the first man to sail through the Northwest Passage, and the Maud . The album also includes photographs of Amundsen with others, particularly with members of the Lomen family, including Judge G.J. Lomen, his wife Julie Joys Lomen, his sons, Carl Joys, Harry, George and Ralph, and his daughter Helen. The album also includes a letter from Amundsen to "Consul Lomen" (probably Judge G.J. Lomen) and a essay by 16-year-old Rose Mary Lomen.

The album also includes one photograph of Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, with a personal inscription to Beal and his wife.

The last page of the album bears the inscription "Gualterus fecit Anno XLIII." With "Gualterus" the Latin form of Walter, this is probably the date Beals completed the album, 1943.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The album was probably received among donations of Beals' papers made by Mrs. Walter Beals in the 1960s.

Processing Note

Processed by Jody Hendrickson; processing completed in 2008.

Mylar sheets were inserted to separate leather covers and treated linen inserts from album pages.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Page item
1 1 Airship Norge landing at Teller, Alaska
Roald Amundsen flew in the Norge over the North Pole
2 2a Ship Gjoa near Nome
C.J. Lomen (photographer)
September 2, 1906
2 2b Ship Maud circa 1920
2 2c Ship Maud near Nome
Lomen Bros (photographer)
3 3 Letter from Roald Amundsen to "Consul Lomen" October 5, 1926
4 4 Portrait of Roald Amundsen in fur lined parka
Lomen Bros (photographer)
This studio portrait is printed on paper with Arctic themed pen and ink drawings printed in the margins and is autographed by Amundsen.
circa 1920s
5 5 Portrait of Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Inscribed "For Judge and Mrs. Walter Burgess [sic] Beals reminding them of the 1901 looks of their friend Viljalmur Stefansson, Christmas 1940."
December 1920
6 6 Portrait of Roald Amundsen
Lomen Bros (photographer)
7 7 Portrait of Roald Amundsen standing
Lomen Bros (photographer)
8 8a Amundsen writing at table
"Amundsen wintering at Wainwright, Alaska preparatory to intended flight, Alaska to Spitzbergen. A crash of the plane prevented the flight."
circa 1920s
8 8b Amundsen, Carl J. Lomen and Captain Oscar Wisting, Nome
"At Nome, following the completion of the Northwest Passage in the Maud."
8 8c Roald Amundsen with dog sled at Nome circa 1920s
9 9 G.J. and Ralph Lomen and Roald Amundsen on beach in Nome
"Judge Lomen and his son Ralph meeting Roald Amundsen when he landed on the beach at Nome, coming from Teller, Alaska, where he first stopped following his flight across the North Pole in the 'Norge'."
circa 1926
10 10a Amundsen and others in horse-drawn cart in Nome
Lomen Bros (photographer)
"At Nome, following the completion of the Northwest Passage in the "Gjoa." Mrs. G.J. Lomen, front seat. Second seat, Roald Amundsen and Lieutenant Hansen, second in command of the "Gjoa." Rear seat, Helen Lomen (Mrs. Clinton Austin), Mrs. R. T. Tyng (wife of the consul of Norway) and Mr. Bolander, of Chicago."
September 2, 1906
10 10b Amundsen and pilot near plane on beach, Wainwright, Alaska circa 1920s
11 11a Men on deck of the Gjoa in Nome
C.J. Lomen (photographer)
"Ralph Lomen, lower of the two men in the rigging at left. Harry Lomen, standing at left of mast. George Lomen, second of the three men at left."
September 1, 1906
11 11b Amundsen and Leonhard Seppala with dog team on trial near Nome 1923
12 12 Essay about Roald Amundsen by 16 year old Rose Mary Lomen May 1929

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Airships--Alaska--Photographs
  • Sailing ships--Alaska--Photographs
  • Seaplanes--Alaska--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)

Personal Names

  • Amundsen, Roald, 1872-1928--Photographs
  • Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962--Photographs

Geographical Names

  • Nome (Alaska)--20th century--Photographs

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Lomen Bros (creator)