The Mountaineers Photograph Album Collection
The Mountaineers is an outdoor club, founded in 1906, to promote the discovery, conservation and documentation of the "mountains, forests and watercourses of the Pacific Northwest". Today The Mountaineers states that the mission of the organization is to” enrich the community by helping people explore, conserve, learn about and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest”. Henry Landes, first president of the Mountaineers described the mission of the club in 1907 as: "rendering a public service in the battle to preserve our natural scenery from wanton destruction, and yet make our spots of supremest beauty accessible to the largest number of mountain lovers."
One of the founding members was Asahel Curtis, a renowned Northwest photographer. In 1906, Curtis, together with W. Montelius Price and Henry Landes (then UW Dean of Geology), formulated the idea to create a new Northwest mountaineering club. A meeting was held at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. E.S. Stevens, in part for the purpose of arranging a welcome for Dr. Frederick A. Cook and party on their return from the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley. After much subsequent discussion, a constitution for the new club was drafted in 1907. At the first meeting on January 18, 1907, the question of annual and local outings was discussed, and a splendid collection of photographs of Mt. Baker taken by Asahel Curtis was shown. The second meeting in February featured a lecture, accompanied by stereoscopic views illustrating the Harriman Expedition to Alaska by Prof. Trevor Kincaid. The first local outing took place at Fort Lawton and the West Point Lighthouse.
There were 151 initial charter members. Over half of the members were women; four of the women charter members were physicians. Women mountaineers constituted an important contributing membership to the club and are very prominent in many of the early photographs of the Mountaineers outings. Among the other outstanding members was Edmond Meany who in 1908 took over the leadership of the Mountaineers. He presided over the organization for 27 years. Other early members included Erastus Brainard, Prof. Trevor Kincaid, Laurence D. Lindsley, Prof. F. M. Padelford, Prof. Milnor Roberts, Arthur C. Warner and Bertha Landes.
The Mountaineers Club banded together members of the community and served to advertise the Northwest's love for the natural beauty of its environment, encouraging safe mountaineering techniques and promoting environmental reforms. Headquartered in Seattle, they eventually created six other branches in Washington State. They also introduced alpine skiing to the area and authored an authoritative text on mountaineering entitled "Freedom of the Hills".
These albums depict some of the first major expeditions of the Mountaineers including the first major outing to Mt. Olympus in 1907. Other areas represented in the collection include Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker/Glacier Peak, Mt. Stuart/Mt. Daniel, Mt. Adams, Canada, Montana and various locations in the western United States.
About the Database
The Mountaineers Collection database was produced partially by funding from the Olympic Peninsula Virtual Community Museum Project . The information for the collection was researched and prepared by the grant staff, UW Libraries Special Collections and Cataloging staff in 2004-5 and 2011-12. All the photographs from the selected albums were included in this database. In addition, textual selections from the Mountaineers Bulletin describing the outings were also scanned and included in the database. The images and text were scanned in grayscale using Microtek scanners and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the images was done to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Contentdm program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Mountaineers Photograph Album Collection no. 341.
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Albums & Bulletins