THE JOSEPH J. PENNELL PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
represents the life work of a Junction City, Kansas, photographer. It consists of 30,000 glass plate negatives made between 1891 and 1923, a period of great change in American life. Pennell's photographs portray a small town at the turn of the century and its transition into the modern era.
Joseph J. Pennell was born in North Carolina in 1866, the son of a Confederate soldier. His family moved to Kansas in the 1880s to take advantage of the public school system. As a young man Pennell went to work for a carpenter in Abilene, Kansas, but later became fascinated by the work of a travelling photographer He worked with several different Junction City photographers while learning his craft, and eventually opened his own studio in the town in 1893. A new studio was built in 1907, and the building is still in use in Junction City. Along with his business success, Pennell achieved wider recognition and awards for his photography His work was shown at the World's Fair in 1893 and the St. Louis Exposition in 1904, and was published in photographic journals and in such popular magazines of the time as Munsey's and Ladies Home Joumal. Pennell operated his studio until his death in 1922, and his wife continued it for a further year.
Junction City was a small town located near the geographical center of the continental United States. Most of the town's income came from supplying the area farmers and the nearby army post of Fort Riley. Studio portraits of soldiers and townspeople made up the bulk of Pennell's work, but he was also hired to record activities and events throughout Junction City and Fort Riley He photographed school, church, and social functions, construction and town growth, the routines of the business and military worlds, disasters and celebrations-the triumphs and tribulations of a small town.
HOW TO USE THE COLLECTION
The Joseph J. Pennell Photograph Collection is part of the Kansas Collection, the regional history branch of the University of Kansas Libraries, open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday to Friday (and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday when the University is in session). A microfilm showing over 6,000 photographs from the Pennell Collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan for research purposes. Portions of the subject catalog are available for the price of photocopying, and prints or slides of photographs can be supplied for the cost of processing. Publication or further reproduction of photographs is allowed only with permission from the Kansas Collection; a use fee may be charged. For further information contact:
THE KANSAS COLLECTION
University of Kansas Libraries
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-2800.