Jun 29, 2023

From the Montana Historical Society: Digitized Haynes Photographs Provide World-Wide Access

The Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives staff are wrapping up their largest digitization project to date with the well-known photographs by F. Jay Haynes.

Haynes’ work is one of the foundational collections of the MTHS Photo Archives. Since the early 1980s, more than 6,000 original glass negatives (and associated reference prints) have been available to in-person researchers in Helena. 

“Haynes extensively photographed the development of the Northern Pacific Railroad and Yellowstone National Park from the late 1870s to the 1910s, including notable photography in Montana,” said Jeff Malcomson, MTHS photo archives manager. “The dream of widening the accessibility of these nationally significant photographs has long been a goal of the MTHS’s photo archivists. A grant from the Montana Legislature in 2021 through the Cultural and Aesthetic Project Grants Program helped transform this goal into a full-fledged digitization project.”

Haynes established himself in the photography business doing contract work for the Northern Pacific in the late 1870s as the railroad built across Dakota Territory. His work with the NP took him across the northern tier of the U.S. West through Montana. Haynes’ railroad photography is vital historical evidence of the effects of a major transcontinental railroad on several regions of the country, especially Montana.

However, Haynes is best known for his work in Yellowstone National Park, which he first visited in 1881. 

You can read the full story in the Montana State Government web site at: