Fremont County Films Show Arapahoe and Shoshone Events, Community Gatherings, and Family Moments–Now Online!

The University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center (AHC) has digitized and made accessible online 16 films from the Harry S. Harnsberger motion pictures and audiotapes #1987.

Harry S. Harnsberger came to Wyoming in 1907 and settled in Fremont County, where his mother was engaged in drilling for oil on Sage Creek. The teenage Harnsberger made friends among the Shoshone and Arapaho and observed many aspects of life on the Wind River Reservation. After the depression of 1910 he went East and graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1914. He returned to Lander, Wyoming, and served as the County and Prosecuting Attorney in 1930-1942. In 1950 he became Wyoming’s Attorney General, and in 1953 he was appointed a Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court. He became Chief Justice In 1967.

The collection contains motion pictures and audio reels created by Harry S. Harnsberger. Topics include the One-Shot Antelope Hunt in Fremont County, Wyoming; Arapaho and Shoshone sun dances; parades and celebrations in Lander, Wyoming; Yellowstone Park; and Cheyenne Frontier Days. Also included is a manuscript by Harnsberger about Fremont County, Wyoming.

Links to digitized items and additional information about the Harry S. Harnsberger motion pictures and audiotapes can be found in the on-line finding aid at:

–Jamie Greene, Digital Programs Department


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U.S. Information Agent’s Papers Shed Light on U.S. Propaganda Strategy in S.E. Asia

Lloyd Burlingham was a United States Foreign Service information officer. He was born in Manila, Philippines, around 1911. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1952 and then studied at Columbia University’s Russian Institute. From 1955 to 1956, he was a research assistant for American University, contributing to books on Cambodia, Laos, and Iran. He joined the United States Information Service (later the United States Information Agency) in 1957 where he worked until 1970. During his government service, he was stationed in Thailand and worked in Buenos Aires and Saigon as well. He served as director of public information for the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, 1961-1965. He died in Perry, New York.

The Lloyd Burlingham collection contains documents created by the United States Information Agency to advance its mission of presenting the United States in a positive way to foreign countries during the Cold War. Also included are research materials about Southeast Asia, SEATO (the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization), China, Russia, Argentina, and elsewhere. Materials include correspondence, newspapers and clippings, periodicals relating to foreign relations, internal memos, press releases, informal field notebooks, and government reports. There are materials that provide insight into the political and military situation in Southeast Asia during the 1960s and a small series of propaganda materials used against the United States in countries like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in the 1960s. There is some material in Thai and Russian languages. There are also reports and papers dealing with Soviet influence in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

The AHC is home to a number of Cold War-era collections; for a preview of collections in this subject area, you might be interested in our subject guide, available here.

–Pechet Men, AHC Processing Intern

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The AHC will be closed August 10th, 2015

The American Heritage Center will be closed for research visits on Monday, August 10th, due to a staff retreat. We will reopen at 8am on Tuesday, August 11th.  We apologize for any inconvenience, but look forward to assisting you with your research needs when we reopen.

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New Mining Collection Now Available Online!

The  American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming has digitized and made accessible online 17 letterpress books, scrapbooks, and albums from the James C. Drayton and William A. Drayton papers (Collection #8177).

James C. Drayton was an attorney who had mining interests in Canada and in Colorado. He and his son, William A. Drayton, from Philadelphia, eventually lived in British Columbia after James C. Drayton’s divorce, all the while pursuing their mineral and mining business as well as James C. Drayton’s law business. William A. Drayton, the son of James C. Drayton served in the Royal Serbian Artillery during World War I and later as a member of the Bulgarian Atrocities Commission and of the Serbian Delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. He also worked with his father on the mining and mineral business in British Columbia.

The collection contains James Drayton’s letterpress copybooks (copies of outgoing letters) from 1881 to 1899. Volumes mainly concern his law practice, mining interests, investments, and other business matters. Some letters relate to James Drayton’s divorce and other personal business. The collection also includes scattered correspondence and miscellaneous materials of James and William Drayton from 1921 to 1940, including a report by William Drayton on the treatment and living conditions of the Kutenai Indians. There are also maps and blueprints of mines and mining properties in British Columbia, Quebec, and Colorado. Lastly, the collection contains newspaper clippings of the mining business, a scrapbook of mementos of James Drayton’s travel experiences, a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings of James Drayton’s divorce, and two picture and photo albums.

Links to digitized items and additional information about the James C. Drayton and William A. Drayton papers can be found in the on-line finding aid at:

We hope you enjoy this new resource for research about mining history!

–Jamie Greene, Digital Programs Department


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Happy 125th Birthday to the State of Wyoming!

How will you celebrate? Tomorrow, Friday, July 10th, there will be a number of fun and family-oriented activities taking place in Cheyenne to commemorate the fact that Wyoming has been a state since 1890.  Wow!

Wyoming State Seal, 1927, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Ludwig Svenson Collection, Negative Number 14535.

Wyoming State Seal, 1927, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Ludwig Svenson Collection, Negative Number 14535.

You’ll find the schedule and more information about tomorrow’s celebration here.  There will be special tours of the Wyoming State Museum and the Governor’s mansion, a scavenger hunt, live music,  even an ice cream social!  At 9:30, the party will go out with a big bang–with fireworks!

If you’d like to learn more about Wyoming’s path to statehood, take a look at this wonderful essay, written by Phil Roberts.

Photograph of Grace Raymond Hebard holding the Wyoming Buffalo Flag, July 10, 1930, University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, Photofile: Hebard, Grace Raymond, Folder 6.

Photograph of Grace Raymond Hebard holding the Wyoming Buffalo Flag, July 10, 1930, University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, Photofile: Hebard, Grace Raymond, Folder 6.

Enjoy the fun!  We at the AHC wish Wyoming a very happy birthday, indeed!

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LGBT Archive of the American West launched in Laramie at the University of Wyoming

The American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming (UW), which houses several significant collections related to slain UW student Matthew Shepard, is currently developing “Out West in the Rockies,” a first-of-its kind regional lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history and culture archive of the American West.  The scope of of this collecting area welcomes collections from eight Rocky Mountain states: Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.

Retiring AHC Director Mark Greene helped inaugurate and Associate Director Rick Ewig will oversee this effort.  Gregory Hinton, creator of Out West, an acclaimed national LGBT western museum program series, introduced the concept to the AHC and serves as project consultant.  Hinton announced Out West in the Rockies at the recent LGBQT Alliance luncheon of the 2015 American Alliance of Museums Annual meeting and Museum Expo in Atlanta.

Growing interest in the rural LGBT experience underscores the need for a visible, dedicated, centrally located LGBT Western American archive.

“The LBGT communities are under-documented in many established national archives and historical repositories, but particularly in collections dedicated to the history and culture of the American West,” says Greene, who is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.  “An archive of this kind is long past due.  The AHC is proud to be committed to this effort.”

The AHC ranks among the largest and busiest non-governmental repositories in the United States.  In 2010, the AHC was recognized as one of the nation’s premier archives when it received the Society of American Archivists’ Distinguished Service Award.  The AHC currently houses 75,000 cubic feet of materials, with 15,000 cubic feet remaining to welcome new collections.  Thus, with ample storage space, an experience, dedicated, and nationally recognized staff stands ready to accommodate substantial LGBT holdings.

Rural Montana-born Gregory Hinton recently drove from Los Angeles through the Rockies in blizzard conditions to hand deliver his personal and professional papers to the AHC.  “Too many LGBT men and women evacuate our rural western backgrounds seeking community, companionship, and safety in the bit city,” Hinton says.  “Happily, not everybody leaves.  And more and more of us return.  Thanks to the AHC, our stories are welcome in Wyoming.”

A distinguished advisory board of respected western scholars, artists, and activists is being assembled, including W. James Burn, director, University of Arizona Museum of Art; Wyoming State Representative and UW faculty member Cathy Connolly; Rebecca Scofield, Ph.D. candidate, American Studies, Harvard University; and civil rights attorney Roberta Zenker, author of TransMontana.

“Out West dispels the myth that LGBT history (and communities) are bi-coastal,” says Burns, recent chair of the LGBTQ Alliance of the American Alliance of Museums.  “Rural western LGBT populations are thriving and make significant contributions to the communities in which they live.”

A call will soon be put out for significant regional collections of organizational records and personal papers consisting of a wide variety of materials, from emails and correspondence to speeches and manuscripts.

“Everything from scrapbooks and photo albums to press clippings and marketing/promotional material; from digital and analog photos to diaries and blog entries; from professional contracts and grants to minutes and annual reports,” says Rick Ewig, also recent president of the Wyoming State Historical Society and editor of Annals of Wyoming.

Seeking to immerse themselves in the vast landscape of the rural American West, scholars and historians from all over the world visit the AHC every year.  The AHC is UW’s repository of manuscript collections, rare books, and university archives.  With a population of 30,000, Laramie is located in the center of the American West.  Located approximately two hours from Denver, it is easily accessible by ground and air.

–Rick Ewig, AHC Associate Director

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Digitized Trail Diary Now Available!

Are you interested in learning more about westward expansion during the 1850s? If so, you’ll be interested to learn that University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC) has digitized and made accessible online the diary and 2 transcripts of the diary from the Charlotte E. Allis diary collection.

A page from the diary--you can see why the transcriptions come in handy!

A page from the diary–you can see why the transcriptions come in handy!

Charlotte “Lottie” Elizabeth Jackson was born July 28, 1828 in Chesterfield Township, New York. Her husband, William Warren Allis, was born October 28, 1823 in Conway, Massachusetts. She and W.W. Allis were married September 11, 1849 in Beloit, Wisconsin. In 1853, W.W. Allis traveled overland to mine gold in California. In 1854, Charlotte followed him, leaving Beloit in April and arriving at Monte Cristo California in July. She maintained a diary during her journey that relates her trek by wagon and foot traveling with newlyweds George and Hannah Haskell and possibly with George’s sister-in-law Marie Haskell, as well as others who are not recorded in Allis’ diary.

The collection contains the diary of Charlotte Allis and two transcripts of the diary. The first transcript was by Esther Gay, wife of the diary’s donor Jim Gay. The second transcript was by Tamara Linse, freelance writer and American Heritage Center volunteer who researched and transcribed the diary from 2001 through 2003. The bulk of the collection is the research files created by Tamara Linse.

Links to digitized items and additional information about the Charlotte E. Allis diary can be found in the on-line finding aid at:

–Jamie J. Greene, Archives Specialist, Digital Programs Department

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