1) General Description - The Barnard - Stockbridge Photography Collection is the result of photographs taken by Thomas Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge. These photographs were taken by each of them, starting with Thomas Barnard in 1893 and then with Nellie Stockbridge when she joined him in Wallace in 1898. When Nellie Stockbridge died in 1965 with no heirs, community leaders found over 200,000 images at the Stockbridge Photography Studio. The images include "events" ranging from snow slides to floods, with building fires and train wrecks interspersed. All images were carefully indexed. so they can be quickly accessed now that the University of Idaho has digitized the collection. The book Mining Town by Patricia Hart and Ivar Nelson states that this collection is the "Best photography collection in the Northwest United States, and one of the seven best in the United States." The collection also features photographs of mining used in a prospectus to raise more funds. Also, there are pictures of mining equipment manufactured in the area that became part of advertising literature. Most of the pictures were intended for publication in newspapers or for home display. As a result, the original pictures were no larger than 8 inches by 10 inches for portraits and many only 4 inches by 6 inches for publication in newspapers.
2) Unique Aspects -
a. Quality of Images - When the University of Idaho Digitizing Unit Leader first saw one of the collection images, a portrait expanded into a 36 inch by 48 inch print, his first reaction was total silence, then he exclaimed, "WOW, I have never seen one of our digital images expanded to this size. I can count the individual hairs in his mustache." That print is part of one Module in the Museum. That quality also must acknowledge the skill of Nellie
Stockbridge in making the photograph.
b. Index of Images - Few photo collections are as blessed as is the Barnard - Stockbridge Collection with a full index
of the subject matter. Thomas Barnard took many photographs of groupings of persons, such as the high school
basketball team. He then intended to sell the picture to each of the persons in the photograph. As a result,
the name of each person in the photograph becomes an indexed identity for a search of persons. All this
cross referencing of persons, places, dates and subject are easily researched because of the thorough
indexing of these photographers.
c. Portrait Collection - Within the full collection are over 33,000 images of persons whose picture was created as a
Portrait. Nellie Stockbridge found that portrait photography was a way of generating cash at all times and in all
circumstances. Her portrait skills have been recognized as some of the best and most unusual ever created.
There is even discussion that she may have been the best Portrait Photographer in the 20th Century. Why?
As an example, she took a portrait of Thomas Barnard, when he was mayor of Wallace, in a pose that has the
mayor sitting sideways on an arm chair, cigar in hand, foot over arm rest and reading a newspaper. Her intent
for this unusual pose is believed to be the desire to show a person with "class and authority," but at the same
time whimsical and approachable. This is one of the Module photographs on display in the Museum.
d. Search Uniqueness - Because the collection is fully indexed. a visitor is encouraged to search the Portrait
Collection for relatives who may have worked in the Coeur d' Alene Mining District. As an example. Bruce Flohr
the Museum Board Chair, has found 8 pictures of his family. Three of these pictures, including one of his
grandmother in her wedding dress, were completely new to him. Should the visitor want to make a copy of
an image of interest, it is encouraged. There will be a cost for that reprint. A volunteer is available to help
with this search process.