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George Alexander Grant collection

Identifier: AG 55

Scope and Contents

Series one, modern contact prints, contains 2,977 gelatin silver prints of original 5x7 inch nitrate negatives. Negatives are ordered according to Grant’s (or Sawyer’s?) numbering system within subjects.


  • 1925-1945


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

George Alexander Grant was born on 4 March, 1891 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school in 1909, he held several jobs (including art metal worker for Roycroft Commune, East Aurora, N.Y.), before joining the U.S. Army in 1917. He was stationed at Fort Russell near Cheyenne, Wyoming during World War I. From 1918-21, Grant held various supervisory positions near Sunbury until, restless, he pursued employment with the National Park Service. He developed an interest in photography in 1922 while working as a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park and was hired as a scientific photographer for the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture in 1923. After successful lobbying, he was appointed first photographer to the National Park Service in 1929. Soon after he moved to Berkeley, California, where he remained until 1948 when he moved to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. During the 1940s he photographed the American landscape, emphasizing both the national parks and government construction projects. He spent most of his time traveling throughout the western United States photographing and printing in the field. Grant most commonly used a 5x7 inch view camera with a well stopped-down 19th century brass-bound lens with a six-inch focal length. From 1929-1954 he photographed the land and buildings of western national parks and monuments, pausing briefly in 1935 to serve as photographer for the Sonoran Mission Expedition. After his position was eliminated, Grant moved to Snow Hill, Maryland to be near his brother (Grant never married). He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico a year later and died there in October 1964.


47 Boxes (7.5 Linear Feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Contact prints, 1925 – 1945, by George Alexander Grant (1891 – 1964), official photographer for the National Park Service. Includes 2977 gelatin silver prints of original 5x7 inch nitrate negatives in repository at the Western Archaeological Center (Tucson, Az.). Main subjects covered are national parks and monuments in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and missions in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Sonora, Mexico. Grant occasionally photographed people in social activities associated with his trips or people with “historical importance” such as Don Juan and the Navajo Indians, although these photographs are generally undated. The collection is inactive.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1:Modern Contact Prints, 47 boxes

Custodial History

The gelatin silver contact prints which comprise this collection are one of three sets printed by Mark Sawyer between 1982-1986 from negatives in the repository at the Western Archaeological Center (Tucson, AZ). The WAC and the National Park Service, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, have interpositives, internegatives and a selection of original prints.

Processing Information

Processed June 1985 by David Peters. Revised by Heather McAsh, 1990, when additional contact prints were received from the Western Archaeological Center, Tucson, AZ. The finding aid was updated in 2017 by Paloma Phelps.

George Alexander Grant Archive 1925-1945
Finding aid created by Andy Hayt
© 2017
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English .

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States