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Lomen Brothers fonds


Physical Description:
ca. 5000 photographs

Carl Lomen, 1880-1965, and his father, Gudbrand J. Lomen, 1854-1934, who were from St. Paul, Minnesota, USA went on vacation to Nome, Alaska, USA in 1900, at the height of the Alaska gold rush. Gudbrand did some legal work there and Carl some gold prospecting, and eventually the two decided to make an extended stay. After a brief period in St. Paul over the winter of 1902-1903, Carl and Gudbrand returned to Alaska to settle. Shortly afterwards they were joined by Carl's mother, Julie, three of his brothers, Harry, Ralph and Alfred, and a sister, Helen. In 1908 the brothers entered into partnership and bought a photo studio with Harry as manager. Equipment and photos from several Alaskan photographers were purchased for the studio, and Alfred soon became main photographer. A year later the brothers bought a drug store with Ralph as manager. Photos from the studio were sold as postcards, and the images, which included those of Inuit, were in demand for many publications. Ralph also operated a studio in Iditarod, Alaska for a few years. The Nome photo studio was destroyed by fire in 1934. From 1913 to 1934 the Lomens also invested in a reindeer herd and shipped meat to the USA by sea. For further information see Lynette Walton's article, "The Lomen Brothers : Photographers of Nome" in Alaska History. - vol. 5, no. 1 (spring 1990), p. 45-47.

Custodial History:
Although the studio burned in 1934, the best negatives had been in secure storage at the site and were removed from the fire and shipped to Seattle. They were eventually bought by a dealer, Shorey's Book Store.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of photographs of Nome, Alaska and other Alaska locations, Inuit, reindeer herds, gold mining, and transportation in Alaska.

Source of Acquisition:
Purchased, 1956.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
Reference prints from the original negatives are also available.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Published inventory available: Lomen Brothers Photographic Collection, Nome, Alaska, 1900-1935 / Glenbow Archives. - Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1968. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Other Lomen Brothers records are held by the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle, the Historical Society of Seattle and King County, the Alaska State Library and the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska (Fairbanks campus).

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
NC-1, ND-1

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