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Introduction to the Image Archive

As of December 18, 2009, the Image Archive contains 200,594 records about the photographic and other image holdings of the Center. Each record contains information about a specific photograph or image, and, when available, digital images are attached. Currently there are 75,615 images (38%) attached to records. These images reflect, illuminate, complement, and strengthen the larger collecting areas of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. These topical areas include city & town life in the west; cowboys and cowgirls and their associations with cattle branding and herding, ranches, rodeos, westerns, and wild west shows; firearms including handguns and rifles; frontier & pioneer life; hunting, especially big game hunting in the west; Indians of North America, especially cultures of the west, southwest, northwest, plains and plateau; military culture, more specifically, military life, personnel, and uniforms in the west; Native American Fine Art (contemporary and historical); rodeos, especially its personalities (African Americans, clowns, cowboys, cowgirls, Native Americans, photographers, and producers), venues (frontier days, ranch rodeos, Soldier Field, stampedes) and events (bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, specialty acts, steer riding, steer roping, steer wrestling [bulldogging], trick riding, trick roping, and wrecks); western fine art (contemporary and historical); and western popular culture including westerns, western actors, entertainment, performers and Wild West shows.

Types of photographs and photographic processes held in the Dickinson Research Center include ambrotypes (1851-1890s); card photographs including boudoir card photographs (ca. 1890- ), cabinet photographs (1866-ca. 1900), cartes de visite (1859-1900s), and imperial card photographs (ca. 1890s); daguerreotypes (1839-ca. 1860); lantern slides (1850-ca. 1920); negatives including nitrate and acetate film and glass negatives; photographic postcards (1900-1930s); photographic prints; stereographs (1859-1930s) including tissue stereographs; and tintypes (1856-1930s). Additional records contain data about non-photographic imagery acquired from advertising cards including trade cards such as cigarette cards; collecting cards including arcade cards (1940-1950s); ephemera such as Dixie Cup lids and milk bottle lids; engravings; lobby cards (1909-1960s); maps; and postcards (1870-present).

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