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Ralph P. Bieber Photographs of the Overland Trail: Finding Aid
photCL 469  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection contains photographs by historian Ralph P. Bieber (1894-1891) documenting the central overland route to California as it appeared in the 1950s. The images show the route through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California that was used by pioneers and gold seekers beginning in the mid-19th century. Bieber also created categories such as "Donner Party sites," "Gold Discovery Sites," and "Sites associated with John C. Fremont."
Background
Ralph P. Bieber (1894-1981) was a historian of the American West who served on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis for many years. Between 1931 and 1940, Bieber edited the Southwest Historical Series for publisher Arthur H. Clark. As a result of his editorial duties, Bieber became increasingly fascinated with the great migration to California during the Gold Rush era. He ultimately began a project of his own to document the overland experience during the critical first year of the Gold Rush. He ferreted out thousands of sources, taking voluminous and highly-detailed notes that comprise the manuscript portion of his collection. He also made several trips along the central route to California, and the photographs here are the result of trips taken in the 1950s.
Extent
726 photographs in 13 boxes + 3 pieces of ephemera in 1 envelope.
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.