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Harry Fielding Reid collection, 1892 - 1905


Scope and Contents

The Glacier Photograph Collection has Reid’s glass plate negatives from 1892 – 1905 from his travels to Alaska and Europe. Gelatin Silver Prints were made from the negatives in 2006. The collection also has Albumen Prints from an album Reid assembled in the late 1890s. In addition to the photographs and negatives, the collection has Reid’s journals from his trip to Alaska in 1892. In 1890 and 1892, Reid made expeditions to Glacier Bay, Alaska to study and map Muir Inlet. During these expeditions, he took numerous photographs and made observations on how to document glacier terminus. These photographs of Glacier Bay are the majority of the Reid collection and are an important contribution to the study of glaciology.

Glass Plate Negatives, Albumen prints, and Gelatin Silver prints have all been preserved and housed according to the Image Permanence Institute guidelines (2017 release). These are stored in acid-free boxes and Polyester sleeves.

Expedition notebooks and sketches have been digitized and are available on the Universtiy of Colorado Digital Library (CUDL). Glass plate negatives have been digitzed and are available on the University of Colorado Digital Library.


  • Creation: 1892 - 1905

Conditions Governing Access

To access these images please go to the CU Digital Library, Then select the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) collections and search for "Reid, Harry Fielding, photographer."

Biographical / Historical

Harry Fielding Reid was born in Baltimore, Maryland on May 18, 1859. He received his bachelor’s degree (1880) and his doctorate (1885) from John Hopkins University where he became a professor of Geological Physics (1889). Reid focused on the description and discussion of glaciers from 1892-1907 and was a prominent glaciologist. He traveled to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Switzerland and Italy, studying and photographing glaciers. Reid was the U.S. Representative on the International Committee on Glaciers. The great California earthquake of 1906 captured Reid’s attention and from here on he dedicated his science to seismological studies. Reid’s theory, which he named “The Elastic Rebound Theory of Earthquakes,” is recognized as an important advance in Geology. He retired as professor emeritus in 1930. Harry Fielding Reid died in Baltimore on June 18, 1944.


28.9 linear feet (36 boxes)

Language of Materials



The series is arranged as follows: 1. Expedition Notebooks from 1890-1892 (9 notebooks) 2. Correspondence and Papers (1 box) 3. Glass Plate Negatives (598) These materials are arranged by negative number and year as assigned by Reid at the time photograph was taken. 4. Photographic Prints: The Mounted Albumen Prints from photographic album (35 album pages) are arranged by album page number as assigned by Reid at the time of the album organization. The Gelatin Silver Prints are made from Glass Plate Negatives (mounted and unmounted) (625 some are duplicate photographs) These are arranged by negative number and year as assigned by Reid at the time photograph was taken.

Processing Information

Biographical information and Scope and Contents written by Athea Merredyth, 2018.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States