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University of Texas at Austin

Hunter-Rose Collection:

A Preliminary Inventory of Their Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Rose, Noah H. and Hunter, J. Marvin (John Marvin), 1880-1957
Title: Noah H. Rose and J. Marvin Hunter Collection
Dates: 1850s-1940
Extent: circa 8,000 items in 5 drawer filing cabinet, 7 document boxes, 1 oversize flat file drawer (14.58 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection of photographs consists primarily of images of the Old West and the Southwest taken by Noah H. Rose and J. Marvin Hunter. Subjects featured in the collection include Indians, frontiersmen, cowboys, outlaws and Texas Rangers, Texas governors and other statesmen. Images taken by D. P. Barr, A. A. Brack, and W. D. Smithers are also present in the collection.
Call Number: Photography Collection PH-00271
Language: English
Access: Open for research, except as noted in Access and Reproduction Restrictions.
Access and Reproduction Restrictions The Hunter-Rose Collection contains large amounts of nitrate negatives, original prints, and copy prints. Patrons may access and research all of the original prints and copy prints; they are restricted from accessing the nitrate negatives. Patrons may request reproductions of the nitrate negatives and original prints from the Ransom Center. Those patrons who wish to obtain reproductions of the copy prints should direct their requests to the N.H. Rose Collection at the University of Oklahoma. Contact:
  • John R. Lovett, Jr.
  • Photo Archivist
  • Western History Collections
  • Monnet Hall, Rm. 452
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Norman, OK 73019
phone (405) 325-3717 fax (405) 325-2943

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Gift, circa 1960s
Processed by: Rebecca Altermatt, 1997; Susan McClellan, 1998

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

The Hunter-Rose Collection contains images from "The Famous N. H. Rose Collection of Old Time Photographs" by various photographers including Noah H. Rose, a San Antonio commercial photographer and collector of photographs of what he termed "early day characters and scenes." J. Marvin Hunter (1880-1957), a friend of Rose, was a printer and publisher of newspapers, most notably the Bandera New Era, as well as the Frontier Times, a publication "devoted to Frontier History, Border Tragedy and Pioneer Achievement," which he co-published with his father, Warren Hunter. Hunter also founded and operated the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, Texas, to showcase his collection of frontier and historical artifacts. Rose and Hunter were friends from an early age and together they published "The Album of Gunfighters" in 1951.
The collection consists predominately of photographs of the Old West and the Southwest, ca. 1850-1960s. The photographs taken by Rose date from the 1930s. Among the other photographers represented in the collection are D. P. Barr, A. A. Brack, and W. D. Smithers. Typical subjects featured in this collection include Indians, frontiersmen, cowboys, outlaws, and Texas Rangers, as well as Texas governors and other statesmen. Individuals represented in the collection include Jesse and Frank James, Judge Roy Bean, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, David Crockett, General George Custer, and Sam Houston and his family. There are also photographs of historical places and scenes, military forts and encampments, and towns in Texas and surrounding states, such as New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Among the Texas towns represented in the collection are Del Rio, San Antonio, and Washington-on-the-Brazos, as well as Bandera, home of Hunter's Frontier Times Museum. The collection also contains photographs and manuscript materials relating to both J. Marvin Hunter and N. H. Rose.
Both vintage and copy prints in a variety of formats are included in the collection. The formats range from cabinet cards, cigarette cards and cartes-de-visite, to panoramic prints. Among the photographic processes represented in the collection are albumen prints, cyanotypes, and tintypes, as well as both nitrate and safety negatives. In addition to copy prints of original daguerreotypes and other processes, there are photographic reproductions of drawings, paintings, and other works of art, some of which pre-date photography. The collection also contains postcards and original letters, as well as negatives of letters, newspaper articles, and legal, financial, and military documents.
The material has been left in its original order and is divided as follows: Series I. Identified Photographs (4 filing cabinet drawers); Series II. Unidentified Photographs (1 filing cabinet drawer); Series III. Oversize Photographs (2 boxes, 1 oversize flat file drawer); and Series IV. Nitrate Negatives (5 boxes). At the end of this finding aid are two indexes, one of correspondents and one of photographers represented in the collection. It should be noted that for most of the material the photographers have not been identified.
The folder list for Series I, which forms the great majority of the collection, reproduces the titles the creator/collector assigned to the folders in alphabetical order by subject. Note that a large segment is present under the title "Indians." Numerous cross-references have been added by the cataloger for personal names and selected subjects. Bracketed information, including the number of items in each folder, has also been supplied by the cataloger. If no number of items is given, the presence of one item may be assumed. When only safety or nitrate negatives of a particular item are available, "SN only" or "NN only" appears in the bracketed information.
The material in Series II has been divided into four subseries: People, Places, Various Subjects, and Written Materials. (The subseries Places includes interior and exterior architecture as well as landscapes.) There are two subseries in Series III: Oversize Items Removed from Series I., and Numbered Oversize Items. The Numbered Oversize Items are divided into People, Places, and Panoramics. The panoramics have been further subdivided into vintage and copy prints. If there are multiple vintage panoramic prints from the same negative, they have all been assigned the same number plus a different uppercase letter for each print. (For example, the number #35A-E indicates that there are five vintage prints from the same negative in the collection). The numbering of the panoramic copy prints corresponds to that of the panoramic nitrate negatives in Series IV. Since copy prints are not yet available for all of the panoramic nitrate negatives, the numbers of the copy prints are not consecutive.
The following abbreviations are utilized in the finding aid:
  • ALS--autograph letter signed
  • CC--Caldwell Collection
  • DC--Dienst Collection
  • DRC--Dick Rudisill Collection
  • FBC--Frank H. Bushick Collection
  • HC--Hunter Collection
  • NN--nitrate negative
  • NV--nitrate vault
  • P&N--print and negative
  • SN--safety negative
  • TLS--typed letter signed
For more information on N. H. Rose, a publication entitled "The Passing of a Life-Long Friend," by J. Marvin Hunter, is available. (Call No. TR 140 R774 H857 1952 HRC Dobie. Please note that this book is located off-site and the researcher needs to allow at least 24 hours advance notice for paging purposes.)
For information on J. Marvin Hunter, please see "J. Marvin Hunter, personal journalist of the twentieth century," a 1957 thesis by Helen Anna Betty. (Call No. T1957 B466.)

Hunter-Rose Collection--Folder List