November 5, 2013

A Rare Find

by Molly Kruckenberg, Research Center Director

Our library recently acquired a rare 1891 volume of images of Yellowstone. This valuable work contains 25 images by the firm of renowned photographer Frank Jay Haynes and features popular views like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Mammoth Paint Pots, and Old Faithful. What makes the work so unique? The extraordinary detail and continuous tones produced by the photogravure process.

"Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs" in Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure
"Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs" in Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure
"Because of its high quality and richness, photogravure was used for both original fine art prints and for photo-reproduction of works from other media such as paintings,” states Wikipedia. The engraving process, by Chicago Photo-Gravure Co., was expensive, so not many volumes of Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure were produced. 
Detail from "Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs"
Detail from "Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs"
This item is available for public viewing in the Montana Historical Society Research Center, along with 100% of our historical photographs, books, periodicals, maps, newspapers, vital records on microfilm, oral histories on audiotape, livestock brand records, city directories, topical vertical files, state documents, published laws, and the Montana Code Annotated. The Research Center is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:00-5:00, and Saturday, 9:00-1:00.

Meanwhile, our installation of more and better shelving in our archives is well underway. Archival collections will re-open to the public in Spring 2014.

Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure (St. Paul, Minn.: F. Jay Haynes & Bros.), 1891.

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