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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Henry Jackson

Other: W.H. Jackson 
Other: William H. Jackson 
Dates:  1843, 4 April - 1942, 30 June
Born:  US, NY, Keesville
Died:  US, NY, New York
Active:  US
Jackson worked with the railway companies and survey groups moving out into the American West. His landscape photographs are some of the most important ever made and helped define the ‘West‘. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Denver, CO, US 
Washington, DC, US 
Omaha, NE, US 
[6-0] *[William Henry Jackson] "Photographer"; "Landscape Photographer"; Omaha 66-~73; then Washington; Denver, 79-97. Major, wide-ranging photog., ~5,000 generally fine views, said to have made 54,000 negs. Several series: "The Great West", "Views along line of Union Pacific R.R." with A.C. Hull, 69; "Manitou and Pike's Peak", 85; "Views of the Rocky Mountains" pub. by E. & H.T. Anthony, 591 Broadway, NY; "Views of New Mexico", 81; also made views in Mexico at some point; views of E. coast of FL 80s90s; NY Central R.R. & B&O R.R. lines 90/92; Columbian Expo 92. Began career as colorist in Troy, NY studios, later asst. to A.F. Styles of VT; 66 went west and opened studio with his brother Edward in Omaha, sold ~73 and moved to Washington, DC; 70-78 official photog. with Hayden Surveys; 79 moved to Denver and opened studio after his government service ended; 98 partner in Detroit Pub. Co., plant manager & promoter until it failed in 24; B. 43, D. 42. SEE Jackson & Driggs, "THE PIONEER PHOTOGRAPHER", 1929. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the United States of America, (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

Preparing biographies

Further research

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Unidentified photographer
William Henry Jackson 
1873, 2 January
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

Visual indexes

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Visual indexes for this photographer are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 

Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer. Go to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online ( has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
 Go to website
The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA has a biography on this photographer. [Scroll down the page on this website as the biography may not be immediately visible.] Go to website
The International Photographers Hall of Fame has provided a biography. Go to website

Internet resources

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William Henry Jackson, Henry Gannett Album ... 
William Henry Jackson, Selected Stereo Views ... 
William Henry Jackson - Stereograph catalog ... 
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum ( 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.69 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.270-271 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on William Henry Jackson.] 
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.458-459 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.168 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

• Naef, Weston 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum - Handbook of the Photographic Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) p.97 
• Newhall, Beaumont 1982 The History of Photography - Fifth Edition (London: Secker & Warburg) [One or more photographs by William Henry Jackson are included in this classic history.] 
• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.32 [Analyzes a single photograph by William Henry Jackson.] 


Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line. 

In the 1990 survey of 535 American photographic collections William Henry Jackson was represented in 109 of the collections. Source: Andrew H. Eskind & Greg Drake (eds.) 1990 Index to American Photographic Collections [Second Enlarged Edition] (Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Co.) 
Library of Congress, Washington, USA 
Approximate number of records: 3126 
Note: A single record may contain more than one photograph.
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