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Carl S. Dentzel Photograph Collection of the American West: Finding Aid
photCL 98  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Carl S. Dentzel Photograph Collection of the American West
    Dates (inclusive): 1870s-1890s
    Collection Number: photCL 98
    Collector: Dentzel, Carl S.
    Extent: 84 photographs in 2 boxes; photographs 18 x 24 cm. (7 x 9 in.) and smaller.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Rare Books Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: Photographs of the American West, dating from the 1870s to the 1890s, collected by Carl S. Dentzel (1913-1980), director of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, California, including a disbound album of photographs of Alaska taken by A. L. Broadbent. These views show Revenue Cutter Service ships and officers; Alaskan natives; towns; scenery; the fur trade and mission schools. Other notable photographs in this collection include portraits of John C. Frémont, Harrison Gray Otis, and John A. Sutter; a series of Lake Tahoe card photographs; and views of early western settlers around the time of the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Carl S. Dentzel Photograph Collection of the American West, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased from Paul and Elizabeth Dentzel on March 24, 1992.

    Biographical Note

    Carl Schaefer Dentzel (1913-1980) served as director of the Southwest Museum in Highland Park, California, from 1956 until his death in 1980, and was integral in the founding of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board in 1962. Privately, Dentzel assembled large collections of Western American art and photographs, and Asian and Native American artifacts.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection contains 84 photographs of the American West that were collected by Carl S. Dentzel (1913-1980), director of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, California. The photographs date from the 1870s to the 1890s and include a disbound album of photographs of Alaska taken by A. L. Broadbent.
    The Alaska album (items 30-84) has a title page inscribed "Mr(?) Baldwin, Dutch Harbor, Unalaska / Compliments of A. L. Broadbent." These photographs all have manuscript captions in ink, presumably written by Broadbent. Scenes include: Alaskan natives, homes, graves; missionaries and schools; walrus hunting; whaling ships; totem poles; portraits of officers in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service; Greek and Russian Orthodox churches; the first grand jury in Nome, Alaska; James Gilchrist Swan; and a portrait of photographer A. L. Broadbent.
    The other photographs in the collection are a series of Lake Tahoe card photographs; a few views of the logging industry; Kingston, Nevada; homesteaders and miners in Oklahoma; and some portraits. Of note is a portrait of "D. S. Mitchell, Photographer" and his camera and tent in Oklahoma.
    Photographers who contributed to this collection include William C. Billington, Alfred Lee Broadbent, F. Davey, Edward De Groff, Charles D. Kirkland, David Sedgley Mitchell, C. H. Shaffner, Julius Ulke, and Raper James Waters.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  
    Bear (ship) -- Photographs.
    Church buildings -- Photographs.
    Grand jury--Alaska -- Photographs.
    Hotels -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Alaska -- Photographs.
    Logging -- Photographs.
    Missionaries -- Photographs.
    Oklahoma—History—Land Rush, 1889 -- Photographs.
    Photographers--1880-1890 -- Photographs.
    Reindeer -- Photographs.
    Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Totem poles -- Photographs.
    United States. Revenue-Cutter Service -- Photographs.
    Walrus hunting -- Photographs.
    Broadbent, A. L. -- Photographs.
    Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890 -- Photographs.
    Otis, Harrison Gray, 1837-1917 -- Photographs.
    Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880 -- Photographs.
    Swan, James Gilchrist -- Photographs.
    Alaska -- Photographs.
    Oklahoma -- Photographs.
    San Diego (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Siberia (Russia) -- Photographs.
    Sitka (Alaska) -- Photographs.
    Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.) -- Photographs.
    Unalaska (Alaska) -- Photographs.