- 1899-1981, predominant 1905-1914 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
565 glass plate negatives. -- 1 audio cassette
Name of creator
Herbert Wendell Gleason, 1855-1937, was born in Malden, Massachusetts, USA. He attended Williams College and Union and Andover Seminaries, and became a Congregational minister in 1883. He married Lulu Rounds in that same year. From 1885-1888 he was a minister in Minneapolis, Minnesota but then resigned to become the editor of The Kingdom, a religious publication. He began his photography career in 1899 and travelled for months at a time to take wilderness photographs in remote areas of Yellowstone Park and Alaska, California, and other American states. He also visited Canada many times, including a visit to Calgary, Alberta in 1905, and was particularly interested in photographing the mountains and glaciers of British Columbia. Lulu often accompanied him and hand-coloured his lantern slides which he would then present on lecture tours promoting conservation of North America's wilderness. At one point in his career he was appointed an Interior Department Inspector for the US government, photographing and observing national parks and lands proposed for national park status. For further information see Taking Sides with the Sun: landscape photographer Herbert W. Gleason: a biography / Dale R. Schwie. - Minneapolis: Nodin Press, 2017.
After Herbert's death the negatives disappeared until 1948 when Roland Robbins discovered them in the possession of a Boston photographic firm and acquired them.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Gift and purchased from Roland Robbins, 1979-1981 and purchased from Craig Dickson, 2016-2018.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The fonds consists of photographs of mountains and glaciers in British Columbia national parks (1905-1914); and photographs of Calgary and Medicine Hat (1905), the prairies, Ontario and of Herbert. Includes an interview with the donor, Roland Robbins, regarding the photographs.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
No restrictions on access.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
The material is in English.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material. https://glenbow.ucalgary.ca/finding-aid/herbert-wendell-gleason-photographs/
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Reference prints from the original negatives are also available.
Related units of description
Title based on contents of records.
Glenbow mounted an exhibition of Gleason photographs entitled Writing with Light, the western impressions of Herbert Wendell Gleason, from October 1981 to January 1982.
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Thursday, July 12, 2018