Historical Photos

The Alaska State Library is home to many collections of historical photos.  Almost all photos on display in the hallways of the Alaska State Capitol are from the Winter & Pond Collection.  The Winter & Pond exhibit in the Capitol includes selections from more than 4,700 photographs presented to the Alaska State Library by William W. Jorgenson.

Lloyd Winter and Percy Pond photographed Alaska between 1891 and 1945.  In 1981 the Alaska State Legislature provided funds for the initial phases of preservation and organization of this unique material.

A portion of the collection has been digitized by the Alaska State Library.  Each photograph marker contains a QR code for further information.  If the image has been digitized, the QR code will take you directly to the record.  If the image is not available in the digital archive, the link will bring you to this page for more information on the collection and how to access the physical archive.

The Alaska State Museum provides finding aides for the collections containing Winter & Pond photos here.

Historical Note

Lloyd Winter and Percy Pond preserved the legacy of Alaska’s past through their photographs, taken over a period of 50 years.  The studios of Winter and Pond Company in Juneau, Alaska, provided local residents and visitors with a rich perspective of Alaska that is now considered a unique reflection of the state in the early 20th century.  During the company’s existence, Alaska expanded mining, fishing, and resource development into profitable ventures that transformed it from a frontier district to a thriving territory of the United States.

The portraits that Winter and Pond produced show the diversity of Alaska’s people through the years, from the gold rush of the Klondike in 1898 to the end of the mining operations in the Juneau Gold Belt District during the 1940s.  Above all, Winter and Pond made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of Tlingit Indian culture by photographing traditional Tlingit social customs and cultural activities just prior to the rapid changes of the 20th century.

Lloyd V. Winter (1866-1945) and E. Percy Pond (1872-1943) arrived in Juneau in 1893 to find a prosperous mining community that was on the verge of developing the multi-million dollar Juneau Gold Belt. Communities from Thane, Douglas, and Treadwell to Windham Bay, Point Sherman, and a half a dozen load mines were thriving mining locations by the early 1900s.  For 50 years, Winter and Pond photographed the growth and decline of the mining industry in Alaska and Canada.  The 1,200 mining photographs in the Winter and Pond Collection provide a significant insight into the operations and living conditions of the hard rock mining industry.

As the partners watched Southeast Alaska thrive, they also observed the Tlingit culture cope with the social changes thrust upon it. As adopted members of a Tlingit family, Winter and Pond had an intense interest in the Tlingit culture and the impact of foreign settlement on the lives of Southeast Alaska’s natives.  The partners recorded traditional activities such as potlatch gatherings and dances.  The 350 images of Tlingits are evidence of the photographers’ admiration of the rich heritage of the Alaska Native people and reveal an intimate view of Tlingit customs and social conditions.

During their careers as professional photographers and businessmen, Winter and Pond chronicled Alaska’s history by recording the boom towns, ships, miners, and landscapes in a unique style of photography that represented Alaska’s frontier and growth.  They also produced several publications, including Types of Alaska Natives and Totems of Alaska.  Today, viewers recognize the Winter and Pond photographs as a valuable documentary of Alaska’s past.

Winter and Pond operated their Juneau-based curio and photography studio for over 50 years.  In 1945, two years after the death of Percy Pond, Lloyd Winter turned the business over to Francis Harrison, who maintained the Winter and Pond Company until it closed in 1956.  Thousands of original glass plates and nitrate negatives were stored until 1981, when William Jorgenson, a Juneau resident who knew Winter and Pond, donated the images to the Alaska State Library.  Mr. Jorgenson’s efforts were instrumental in the preservation of the glass plates that are now viewed by local residents and people from around the world wishing to catch a glimpse into Alaska’s past.

In 1981-1982, the Alaska State Library received funds from the Alaska State Legislature to produce a guide to the Winter and Pond Collection and to print and preserve the original glass plates and negatives.  Richard Engen, Phyllis DeMuth, and Verda Carey began work on the Winter and Pond photo listings.  R.N. DeArmond and Marilyn Kwock compiled the descriptions.  Carol Ottesen assigned subject headings, and Ronald Klein provided expertise on the printing and handling of the original glass plates and nitrate negatives.

India M. Spartz

Photographs Librarian
Historical Library Section
Alaska State Library