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A view of Stanley Lake in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains, ca. 1930, from the Robert Limbert collection. Photo 803

Albertsons Library holds thousands of photographs of Idaho scenes and people.  Most date from the 20th century, from the 1920s on; there are few before that date.  Our principal photo collections are listed below, but many other manuscript collections contain photos as well; consult our Manuscript list for a full list of our manuscript collections.  Copyright status of the images in the photo collections will vary, but most may be reproduced for reference, research, and scholarly purposes. Consult the archivists in the Special Collections Department for more information.

The University Archives collection

Photos and slides documenting the history of Boise State University going back to its founding as Boise Junior College in 1932 are held in the University Archives in the Special Collections Department. Included are thousands of photos of buildings, faculty, and campus activities, including sporting events. The Archives' holdings go up to 1995. The college yearbooks, Les Bois, which were published from 1935 until 1978, are another rich source of historic university photos. Several hundred photos from University Archives are now online at Historic Boise State. To the right: the Library and Memorial Fountain, before the addition of 1995 which transformed it into Albertsons Library. The glassed entry lobby of the original 1964 structure is now the atrium in the center of the building. The four-story tower was built in 1970. The fountain was destroyed during the construction of the 1995 addition.





The Robert W. Limbert collection (MSS 80)

Robert W. Limbert (1885-1933) was a naturalist, explorer, guide, outdoorsman, writer, photographer, lecturer, and promoter.  By profession he was a taxidermist, and later the operator of a dude ranch and mountain lodge, but he is best remembered for his exploration of the Idaho wilderness, his promotion of Idaho as a tourist destination, and his photography of the state's scenery and wildlife.  He is most associated with the Sawtooth Mountains, Craters of the Moon, and the Bruneau River Region, but he ranged through all of southern Idaho creating a photographic record that is his lasting legacy.  Approximately 4,000 photos and negatives, mostly from the 1910s and 20s, were donated to Boise State University by his daughter, Margaret Lawrence.  Consult the online guide to the collection for a list. To the left: Limbert and his camera (Photo 11025).

The Ted Trueblood collection (MSS 89)

Ted Trueblood (1913-1982) was a hunter, fisherman, camper, conservationist, environmentalist, and author, who, together with his wife Ellen, left a photographic record of almost 35,000 images documenting their life in the Idaho outdoors.  Many of the photos were taken to accompany his articles for Field & Stream magazine.  The Ted Trueblood photo collection is part of a larger collection of his papers and memorabilia described in an online guide.  To the right: Ted Trueblood at work (Photo 2303).

The Idaho Statesman collection (MSS 111)

By far the largest photo collection in Albertsons Library is that donated by the Idaho Statesman, Boise's daily newspaper.  More than a million images (mainly negatives) taken by the Statesman's photographers from 1950 through 1993 are on file.  They are arranged by date, and include not only photos that were published in the paper, but often dozens of other shots taken on the same assignment that were not published.  There is some topical indexing.  Some dates are missing.  At present the topical index is not available online, but Special Collections staff will search it to help patrons identify potential images of interest. To the left: Boise police officers, 1952 (File 520905).

The William F. Roach collection (MSS 71)

William Francis "Doc" Roach (1891-1973) worked for the Boise Fire Department from 1911 to 1965 as a fireman, dispatcher, fire prevention captain, and fire marshal.  He collected more than 400 photos documenting fires, fire equipment, and firefighters in Boise.  Some date as far back as 1911, but most come from the 1940s and after.  A number of them appear in Arthur Hart's book Fighting Fire on the Frontier, published by the Boise Fire Department Association (1976). Over 70 photographs from the collection are now online in the Doc Roach Fire Collection. Many of the photos in the Doc Roach collection depict Boise structures, like the Peasley warehouse, long lost to urban renewal, fire, or the passage of time. To the right: the Peasley Warehouse fire, at 13th and Front Streets, 1948 (Photo 174).




The Edward F. Rhodenbaugh collection (MSS 11)

Most of the 1200 photos in the collection are scenic and geologic snapshots from the early years of the 20th century through the 1950s taken by geologist Edward F. Rhodenbaugh (1872-1964), and most are uncaptioned. They document the Payette Lake region (where the Rhodenbaugh family vacationed), the forested central Idaho wilderness (then called the Primitive Area), and the rock and lava formations of the southern portion of the state, including the Craters of the Moon.  There are also a number of family portraits and photos, as well as photos of the Rhodenbaugh family's hunting, fishing, and camping activities in Idaho during the early years of the 20th century.  Consult the online guide to the collection for a fuller listing. To the left: Jughandle Mountain across Little Payette Lake, 1917 (Photo 2010)

The Frank Church collection (MSS 56)

Approximately 1500 photos document the career of Senator Frank Church (1924-1984), who represented Idaho in the U.S. Senate for four terms (1957-1981) and served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  They cover his work in Idaho and Washington,  foreign trips, many colleagues and world leaders, and scenes on the campaign trail, including his bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976.  They were donated to Boise State University by Senator Church along with his Senatorial papers.  To the right: Frank Church at work in Washington (Photo OPR 9).

The Nell Shipman collection (MSS 81)

Nell Shipman (1892-1970) was an actress and filmmaker who came to Idaho in the 1920s and made a series of short silent films at Priest Lake, in the northern part of the state. Approximately 400 photos donated by her son, Barry Shipman, document not only her activities at Priest Lake in the early 1920s but other aspects of her filmmaking career as well.  Nell Shipman's papers, which were donated along with the photos, contain letters, scripts, stories, and other memorabilia from her filmmaking and writing careers. To the right: publicity photo of Nell Shipman by George Walters, Los Angeles (Photo 86).

The Cecil D. Andrus collections (MSS 140 and MSS 141)

The career of Cecil D. Andrus, four-term Idaho Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the Carter administration, is documented by several hundred photos and snapshots in both formal and informal settings in Idaho and Washington.  The photos were deposited in Albertsons Library along with his gubernatorial records and private papers (MSS 140 and 141) in 1995.  To the right: Governor Andrus, 1973 (Photo POR 237).

Special Collections • 1910 University Drive • Boise, ID 83725-1430 • Phone: 208-426-1204 • Email: Archives