Joseph Pennell Photography Collection

The Pennell Collection consists of more than 30,000 glass plate negatives that represent the life work of Joseph J. Pennell, a successful commercial studio photographer who worked in Junction City, Kansas, from the early 1890s to the early 1920s. It provides a comprehensive view of life in a moderately-sized, Midwestern, army-post town on the Great Plains at the turn of the last century. The University of Kansas acquired the negatives, along with 10 ledgers of business records, in 1950. Pennell's novelist son, Joseph Stanley Pennell, was persuaded to donate them by KU faculty member Robert Taft. Taft selected 4000 images that he considered significant, printed them, and prepared a traveling exhibition, which generated a great deal of interest, especially in Kansas. In 1983, with funding provided by NEH, the entire collection was surveyed, and additional images were printed and cataloged, along with the images selected by Taft. It is this subset that has been digitized and presented.

View the finding aid for this collection.

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Users of this collection should be aware that these items reflect the attitudes of the people, period, or context in which they were created. Certain images, words, terms, or descriptions may be offensive, culturally insensitive, or considered inappropriate today. These items do not represent the views of the libraries or the university.