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Peter E. Palmquist Working Photograph Collection
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Collection Overview
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The Peter E. Palmquist Working Photograph Collection contains approximately 5,000 images from Northwest California, especially Humboldt County. 3,700 of these images can be viewed in the Library's Humboldt Room and searched through the Humboldt Room Photograph Collections database. There is a close association between this collection and major portions of the Peter E. Palmquist Photograph Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
Peter Palmquist spent his early years in Oakland, California, then moved to Humboldt County. The family lived outside Ferndale where Peter attended a one room elementary school. Starting at age 12 he taught himself photography. He graduated from Ferndale High School and then enlisted in the United State Army. While he was stationed in Paris with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, he continued his study of photography and began his professional work as photographer. When he returned to Humboldt County, bringing his young family, he attended Humboldt State College and was employed as the official university photographer. He held that position long after his 1965 graduation, finally retiring in 1989. Throughout those years Peter also ran a commercial photography business. Starting in 1971, Palmquist became interested in historical images, an interest that led him in many directions. He died in 2003 immediately after being gravely injured by a hit and run driver. At first his interest in old photographs led to studying the history of his own profession and then the lives of past photographers, but it quickly incorporated an interest in the informational content revealed in a photograph. He started collecting images taken in northwestern California, but this soon broadened out to include other areas and led to a collection of images from all of western North America. Later his interest in women who worked in any aspect of photography led to extensive research in and collecting of photographs by women worldwide. Working with the Women in Photography International Peter developed and served as curator of the Women in Photography International Archive, which was housed at his home in Arcata. Throughout this time Peter generously shared the information he was discovering and collecting through numerous writings, exhibits, presentations, and workshops.
Approximately 5,000 images
Copyright was not transferred to the HSU Library.
The collection is open for research.