Historical Photograph Collection
The Clarence L. Andrews collection, 1805-1948


Collection number: PH 001

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Biographical Sketch:

Born in 1862 in Ashtabula County, OH, Clarence Leroy Andrews accompanied his family in a move to Oregon by way of the Isthmus of Panama in 1864. The father died on the journey, but the rest of the family settled near Brownsville, OR. Following graduation from United Brethren College of Philomath, OR, in 1882 Andrews established a homestead in eastern Oregon. In 1886 he was elected county clerk and clerk of the court for the newly created Morrow County. From 1890 to 1897 he worked in Seattle, WA, as deputy in the King County auditors office. Andrews visited Alaska in 1892 and returned with the Klondike gold rush in 1898. For the next ten years he worked as a customs official at Sitka, Skagway, and Eagle.

Self-taught in Russian, Andrews became a recognized authority on the history and culture of the Alaskan territory. He received an appointment in 1909 as head of the Information Bureau at the Alaska Building in the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle. After traveling with the exhibit he returned to Alaska in 1915 as a journalist for the Alaska-Yukon magazine and Alaska Daily Empire.

In 1923-1930 Andrews traveled in the Arctic region from Nome to Point Barrow, in the employ of the U.S. Bureau of Educations School and Reindeer Service. He was especially concerned with corporations that exploited reindeer herds, and led a campaign in the 1930s to remove Carl Momen of Seattle from control of the reindeer industry. In his later years Andrews wrote to publicize the problems of the Eskimo people and to defend their rights. Andrews wrote several books about Eskimos and Alaska, published The Eskimo magazine, and researched and translated several Russian works pertaining to Alaska, and wrote a manuscript about Baranov. C.L. Andrews retired to Eugene, OR, and died in 1948.

Scope and Contents:

The collection consists of approximately 1,600 vintage prints and 75 negatives, dealing almost exclusively with Alaska and the Yukon. There are a few prints of Seattle, WA, 1900-1905. Main subjects include the towns of Sitka, Skagway, Eagle and Valdez; modes of transportation, from reindeer and dogs to railroads, ships and kayaks; Native Americans; totems; wildlife and natural resources. The value of the collection is primarily documenttary; Andrewstechnical abilities were good but seldom outstanding.

Andrews actively collected historical images. More than sixty photographers are represented in the Andrews collection, including Frank La Roche, Eric A. Hegg, George Gordon Cantwell, and the Case & Draper studio. The collection includes an album of Alaska in the 1890s by La Roche, and a copy of Heggs 1902 Souvenir of Alaska and Yukon Territory.

The prints are annotated extensively on the back. Numbers have been assigned to each image, with Andrewsoriginal numbers cross-referenced when possible. Prints are arranged in numerical order. Originally the collection included thirteen other albums, which have apparently been disassembled.

An old card file index and current database reports are available in the Special Collections reading room. Andrewspapers and manuscripts are located in Manuscript Coll. 67. The University of Alaska-Anchorage holds additional materials; other collections of C. L. Andrews are scattered throughout Northwest repositories.

Extent: 8 linear feet (19 containers)


Estate of Mabel McLain, July 1969

Access restrictions: None.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Clarence L. Andrews collection, PH 001-[item number], Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1299.

Publication rights:

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish images must be submitted to the Photographs Curator of Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.


Processed by: Normandy S. Helmer
Date Completed: July 2004

For a listing of some of the other digital collections or projects being undertaken by the Libraries, please visit the UO Libraries Digital Collections Home Page.

Support for this project was generously provided to the Libraries through a gift from Margaret and Thomas Hart.


Last Modified:
Comments and questions to Digital Collections Administrator
Metadata Services & Digital Projects, University of Oregon Libraries