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James H. "Jimmy" Hare:

An Inventory of His Papers and Photography Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hare, James H., 1856-1946
Title: James H. "Jimmy" Hare Papers and Photography Collection
Dates: 1880-1940
Extent: 40 boxes, 5 document boxes, 3 card file boxes ()
Abstract: The career and life of photojournalist James H. "Jimmy" Hare is represented from the 1880s through the 1930s with 1,128 lantern slides, 709 glass negatives, 333 nitrate negatives, 150 vintage prints, 1,047 modern prints, 18 personal photographs of Hare’s family and colleagues, manuscript materials, and clippings and copy prints related to Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare.
Call Number: PH-00073
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Please note: Transparencies may be accessed but require 24 hours advance notice. Negatives cannot be accessed without curatorial approval. To make an appointment or to reserve photography materials, please email Visual Materials Reference staff. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation James H. "Jimmy" Hare Papers and Photography Collection (PH-00073). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition: Purchase, 1959
Processed by: Nicole Davis, 2012, and Elizabeth E. Preston, 2019

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin,

Biographical Sketch

James H. "Jimmy" Hare was born on October 3, 1856, in London. He enrolled at St. John’s College in 1871, though he left after a year to apprentice with his father, George Hare, a camera manufacturer. Jimmy worked with his father until they disagreed about changing trends in photography. The younger Hare wanted to make smaller "hand cameras" that accommodated the new mass-manufactured dry-plate negatives, but the elder did not agree that the new technology represented a good business model. In 1879, Jimmy left his father’s workshop to work with another manufacturer, and in that same year he married Ellen Crapper.
Hare eventually took up photography as a hobby, and in 1884 he took his first "snapshot," a quick, unplanned photograph at the Centenary of Free Ballooning. Five years later, E. & H. T. Anthony, a photographic manufacturing company in New York, offered Hare a position. He moved to Brooklyn, followed by his wife, two sons and three daughters. The company was soon bought out and Hare’s wages were reduced, so he resigned and began working as a free-lance photographer. By 1895, Hare had joined the staff of the weekly periodical Illustrated American as a news photographer. Hare shot a variety of events for Illustrated American, such as parades, regattas, and the inauguration of President McKinley. Although photographs were reproduced in newspapers and magazines at this time through artist renderings, photojournalism was a growing career path, and became even more so as the mechanical halftone process to reproduce images became more widespread.
In 1898, the battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana's harbor; on hearing this news Hare turned to Collier’s Weekly and proposed a photo-story for them. His photographs of the wreckage pleased the editors so much that they promoted him to "special photographer." Still in Cuba, Hare began covering the Spanish-American War, during which he worked with reporters Sylvester Scovel, Stephen Crane, and Richard Harding Davis. Hare’s courageous coverage of the war, which included stories and personal accounts in addition to his photographs, impressed his editor, Robert J. Collier, and helped convince Collier that the magazine should become more news- and politics-oriented to help boost sales.
After the end of the war, Hare covered a variety of subjects for Collier's including political events, shipwrecks, Latin America, and President William McKinley in 1901 before his assassination. In late 1902, Hare took time off from Collier’s to travel to the Middle East where he collaborated with a friend on a stereopticon slide project of religious sites through the end of 1903. By the time the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Hare had returned from the Middle East. During his absence, Collier’s had taken on a new editor, Norman Hapgood, who kept war reporting and photojournalism as important aspects and raised the profile of the magazine. Hare resumed his position with the magazine and set out for Japan with other Collier’s correspondents, including Jack London. Though the Japanese were hesitant to let reporters join the troops, eventually Hare and the others were allowed into Manchuria under restricted conditions. Hare worked with a 5 x 7-inch folding camera, which took plates or film, and a homemade panorama camera. He developed his photographs in a portable darkroom tent. Hare accompanied the troops that occupied Liaoyang and covered the ensuing battle at Shaho, earning an exclusive scoop for Collier’s. Hare subsequently returned to the United States for a break and the war ended in 1905 before he had a chance to return.
By the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Collier’s had gained more prominence which led to a variety of assignments for Hare, including the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and President Taft’s inauguration in 1909. Around this time Hare also began documenting early aviators, as his employer, Robert J. Collier, was an avid aeronautical enthusiast. In 1906 Hare flew with balloonist Charles Levée over Manhattan and captured aerial views of the city. Two years later Hare and reporter Arthur Ruhl went to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to try to witness the Wright brothers in flight. Even though the Wright brothers first flew in 1903, the public and the government were still skeptical of the achievement of flight as the Wrights would stop work when reporters were present. In 1908 Hare, Ruhl, and others went to Kitty Hawk, where they secretly documented the Wrights working. The snapshots Hare took at this time are considered the first photographs of a plane in flight. Over the next few years Hare continued to document early aviators, aviation meets, and various types of early aircraft.
Hare continued to work as a war photographer when opportunities arose. In 1911, he went to Mexico to document the Mexican Revolution and found himself in the middle of the Battle of Ciudad Juárez where was able to obtain images of rebel leaders Francisco Madero and Pancho Villa. In 1912, Hare went to Eastern Europe to photograph the Balkan Wars. He returned to the U.S. in 1913, and in 1914 followed army and navy detachments to Veracruz to resume his coverage of the Mexican Revolution.
By 1914 and the beginning of the First World War, Collier’s was facing budget constraints and a new editor emphasized fiction rather than news stories. The magazine did not assign Hare to cover the war, and he offered his services to Leslie’s Weekly. The periodical happily hired Hare as a photographer and writer. He arrived in London in August 1914, where government authorities restricted his access to military operations. France also proved unsympathetic to photographers, but in Belgium Hare was able to see some action. Soon thereafter he had to retreat back to England, where he documented Canadian troops training, and then went to Ireland to cover the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915. Because the Western Front was impossible to reach, Hare decided to travel to Italy. Journalists were no more welcome there, but he was able to witness an attack on Serbian soldiers and an Allied garrison in the Greek harbor town of Thessalonikē. He returned to the United States briefly, but soon returned to Europe, travelling between London and Paris, and then joining the Italian army in 1917. He stayed in Italy until the end of the war, documenting American training camps, installations in the Alps, an Italian offensive against the Austrians, and Americans crossing the Piave River to support the Italians.
After returning to New York in December of 1918, Hare continued to work for Leslie’s. The magazine folded in 1922 and from that point on Hare did little photography, instead spending his time lecturing at clubs using his lantern slides. He officially retired in 1929. His wife Ellen died in 1934. He worked with biographer Cecil Carnes who published Jimmy Hare News Photographer in 1940. In 1945, he left Brooklyn to stay with one of his daughters in Teaneck, New Jersey, and on June 24, 1946, he died.


Gould, Lewis L., and Richard Greffe. Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977.

Scope and Contents

The career and life of photojournalist James H. "Jimmy" Hare is represented from the 1870s through the 1930s with 1,128 lantern slides, 709 glass negatives, 333 nitrate negatives, 150 vintage prints, and 1,047 Ransom Center-made modern prints, 18 personal photographs of Hare’s family and colleagues, manuscript materials, and clippings and copy prints related to Lewis L. Gould's and Richard Greffe’s Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977). The finding aid is divided into the following three series: I. Professional Photographs, 1884-1930, undated; II. Personal Photographs, 1870s-1930s, undated; and III. Manuscript Materials, 1940, undated.
Series I. Professional Photographs, 1884-1930, consists of lantern slides, glass negatives, nitrate negatives, vintage prints, and modern prints made by the Ransom Center with a total of 2,169 discrete images. The vast majority of images are black-and-white but 34 lantern slides are hand-tinted. This finding aid builds on the subject identifications from a card index created by Gould and Greffe as part of the research for Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare. Though Hare’s original index cards with identifications exist, not all items are cataloged in those cards. Both card indices are available for reference in the collection. When the new index was created, researchers assigned identification numbers 1 through 2130 to most items. Images existing in multiple formats (or multiple copies of one format) were usually given the same identification numbers, therefore there is overlap in numbering. For example, image 188 exists as a lantern slide, a glass negative, and a copy print. Seventy-one lantern slides and two vintage prints (both from the same negative) were not numbered when the new index was created; these were assigned the number range 2132-2203 during cataloging. The following list gives the item numbers that exist for each format:
  • Lantern slides: 17-19, 22 [2 items], 29-30, 166, 168, 170-178, 184-185, 188, 191, 194-195, 197, 200-201, 204 [2 items], 207, 346, 348, 352, 364, 421, 489, 759, 764, 773, 903, 982, 1000-1251, 1252 [2 items], 1253-2010, 2126, 2128-2130, 2132-2202
  • Glass negatives: 1-16, 18-30, 32-60, 62-169, 172-179, 181-184, 186-188, 190-351, 353, 355-381, 383-420, 422-434, 436, 438-506, 581-655, 666-758, 760-763, 765-766, 768-772, 774-812
  • Nitrate negatives: 31, 61, 180, 435, 437, 507-580, 767, 815-902, 904-943, 947-981, 1076, 1372, 1720, 1786, 1796, 1998, 2011-2014, 2033-2035, 2041-2047, 2049-2057, 2062-2069, 2073-2125
  • Vintage prints: 30, 99-102, 129 [2 items], 130-132, 134, 173-176, 178, 210-211, 213 [2 items], 214, 217, 219 [2 items], 220, 232, 233 [2 items], 234, 235 [2 items], 236 [2 items, 237, 239-242, 267, 270, 271 [3 items], 272 [2 items], 273-274, 279-280, 313, 332-336, 468, 472, 474, 483-484, 487, 610 [2 items], 611 [2 items], 616 [3 items], 617 [3 items], 619, 623, 628-629, 681, 733, 739-740, 741 [2 items], 742-744, 746, 1998, 2011-2032, 2033 [2 items], 2034-2038, 2039 [4 items], 2040, 2044 [2 items], 2047-2052, 2053 [2 items], 2054 [2 items], 2055-2056, 2057 [2 items], 2058 [2 items], 2059, 260 [2 items], 2061, 2070, 2071 [3 items], 2072, 2131, 2203 [2 items]
  • Modern prints: 1-16, 18-169, 172-184, 186-194, 196-351, 353-381, 383-420, 422-655, 666-758, 760-763, 765-772, 774-812, 815-943, 847-902, 904-981, 1076, 1372, 1720, 1786, 1796, 1998, 2011-2014, 2033-2035, 2041-2047, 2049 [2 items], 2050-2055, 2056 [2 items], 2057, 2062-2069, 2073-2100, 2101-2125
  • Photomechanical reproduction: 2127
  • No items: 189, 382, 656-665, 813-814, 944-946, 983-999
  • Missing item: 354 (lantern slide)
This series is physically arranged by format with items in numerical order, but the container list follows a chronological subject index with assorted undated subjects at the end. In the container list, each subject is followed by formats and the item identification numbers for each. All negatives, glass and nitrate, have a corresponding vintage print or modern print made by the Ransom Center (or both) and are therefore restricted from access.
Researchers may still wish to consult the card index in Boxes 45 and 46, as they have some information which is not duplicated on this finding aid. Captions written on items or Hare’s cards are transcribed on the index cards, citation information is given for some images reproduced in such publications as Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, Illustrated War News, or The Nations at War by Willis J. Abbot, and the corresponding identification numbers from Hare’s original cards are given.
Following the subject index is an additional index arranged by the identification numbers assigned by Gould and Greffe. This index shows all formats created for each image, includes the container number, and the HRC-assigned number unique to each item. Researchers should use the unique HRC-assigned number when requesting material.
Hare is known especially for his work as a war correspondent. He photographed the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905, battles in the Mexican Revolution in 1911 and 1914, the Balkan Wars from 1912 to 1913, and finally the First World War, and these are all represented in the collection.
The Spanish-American War is documented with 66 images of soldiers at leisure, encampments, infantry troops, trenches, wounded soldiers, the Rough Riders, and telegraph lines being installed. The Russo-Japanese War is represented with 166 images, including 9 hand-tinted lantern slides. Many of the images are of Japanese soldiers wounded, at leisure, and preparing for action. There are also images of field hospitals, troops entering Liaoyang, Chinese prisoners, and portraits of General Kuroki Tamemoto and his staff. In 1911, Hare traveled to Mexico to document the Battle of Ciudad Juárez during the Mexican Revolution. The collection has 108 of these images which include wounded men, soldiers in action, and scenes with Pancho Villa and Francisco Madero. In 1914, Hare returned to Mexico during the occupation of Veracruz. There are ten images of Marines drilling on the USS Louisiana and aerial views of Veracruz taken by military pilots using Hare’s cameras. Between stints in Mexico, Hare went to Eastern Europe to document the Balkan Wars. Thirteen images from this time period include women and children knitting and carrying pitchers and bread and scenes from the trenches including soldiers at rest.
The "European War" (World War I) makes up nearly half of the collection with 1,005 images which are subdivided into subjects organized alphabetically. Ninety-seven images of general scenes include damaged buildings, street scenes, parades, and battlefields from unidentified locations. Captain A. L. Boyce and his "Tigers" are documented with 34 images of a parade in New York City as well as copy images of correspondence and old portraits. Belgium is represented with 17 images of city scenes, crowds of people evacuating Antwerp, and the Ypres Cathedral in ruins. Nineteen images show soldiers building a pontoon bridge in an unidentified location. Thirty images depict Canadian troops in England and at a convalescent home. Other convalescent soldiers at an unidentified location are seen in 22 images.
England during the war is well represented with general scenes (15 images) including an address by the Italian Ambassador at the embassy in London; soldiers and families at an amusement park (52 images); Kitchener’s volunteer army (18 images); a women’s rights demonstration led by Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst in London in July 1915 (14 images); recuperating men at St. Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors (22 images); and a special service for intercession at St. Paul’s Cathedral (13 images). France is documented with general scenes (16 images); the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris (37 images); recuperating troops in the Hall of Mechanics at the Grand Palais in Paris (4 images); and soldiers and encampments at Verdun (6 images). Greece is depicted in general scenes (46 images) and scenes from the harbor town of Thessalonikē (44 images).
Italy is the most well-represented country in the World War I items with 451 images. General subjects include damaged buildings, street scenes, and weapons (62 images). Other subjects include an American pilot training camp (50 images); candid images of American pilots (35 images); American politicians (8 images); American troops crossing the Piave River (14 images); the anniversary celebration in Rome of the American entry into the war (13 images); nurses (6 images); the Red Cross (27 images); soldiers (165 images); a ceremony with King Emmanuel III and Major Fiorello H. La Guardia (23 images); presentations of War Cross medals (36 items); and American soldiers at a ceremony in 1918 with a "Young Italy, Inc." (11 images).
The World War I photographs are rounded out with images of funeral processions, coffins, and burial scenes in Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, in 1915 of the dead from the RMS Lusitania (44 images) and scenes in the Netherlands (4 images).
In addition to his work as a war correspondent, Hare is known for having documented many early aeronautical pioneers. Ballooning scenes are represented with 25 images. Hare documented the London Centenary of Free Ballooning in 1884, he flew with balloonist Leo Stevens in 1906 taking aerial views of Manhattan, and he photographed a race of dirigibles in St. Louis (undated). Photographs of pilots and planes range from 1908 to 1911. General scenes (45 images) include: events and crowds of spectators; a U.S. Navy Trans-Atlantic flight; scenes in Keyport, New Jersey, and at Belmont Park on Long Island; the Harvard-Boston Meet in September 1910; and scenes of people bathing at Brighton Beach, Long Island, where flight meets took place. There are 77 images of airplanes and aviators, including informal portraits and aviators in flight, and one image of a man in a hang-glider. An index of people at the end of the finding aid will help identify individual pilots depicted in the photographs. Of the 38 images related to the Wright brothers, few are of the Wright brothers themselves. There are images of their plane in flight (such as 1524) and some candid images of them fishing along with Hare (1501-1503), but most are of the circumstances surrounding their flights, such as nearby towns, correspondents trying to get a glimpse of the flights, or receptions to celebrate them. Thirty-eight photographs taken in San Antonio, Texas, in 1911 include additional aviation images along with some military parades, aerial views of a military camp, and a reception for Theodore Roosevelt.
Beyond wars and aviators, Hare took on a variety of assignments. There is a set of 93 images of Boy Scouts at camps in Hackensack, New Jersey, and at Raquette Lake, New York, which include boys at leisure, drilling, marching, camping, boating, fishing, exercising, and partaking in other outdoor activities. Sixty-two images, including eleven hand-painted lantern slides, were taken in Haiti and include street scenes, civilians, and soldiers. Other assorted subjects include boats and ships, landscapes and seascapes, candid images of men, women, and children, formal portraits of unidentified sitters, and a few images of various presidents. Many of these assorted images may belong to previously listed subjects but could not be positively identified as such. For example, among the images of men are many soldiers and sailors but these could not be associated with a specific war.
At the end of Series I are 67 lantern slides which are commercial images, possibly from Hare’s sojourn and collaborative project in the Middle East in 1902-1903. These are primarily images of ancient archeological sites and artifacts from the Middle East, but they also include a few images from Africa, the Far East, and Europe. Some of these lantern slides are hand-tinted.
Series II. Personal Photographs, includes six photographs of Hare on assignment with colleagues, and twelve portraits of his family members, including his father George, his wife Ellen, and his children. These are arranged chronologically. There are also other images of Hare scattered throughout Series I., such as in the photographs from the Russo-Japanese War, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I, and some portraits of Hare are listed in the assorted and undated section as well. The index of subjects at the end of this finding aid will help locate all the images of Hare as well as all other prominent individuals found throughout the photographs.
The last series of manuscript materials includes some of Hare’s items, such as his original index cards and various notes and captions, but also includes items related to the 1977 publication Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare. Copies of clippings compiled by the authors include articles about Hare and his family as well as articles written by and with photography by Hare, mostly from Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. A set of copy prints of images used for the book and a few images ultimately not chosen for inclusion are also found in this series. Researchers are encouraged to consult these prints as they are mostly 8 x 10 inches, thus larger than the vintage and modern prints in Series I., which are all 5 x 7 inches or smaller.
Note for researchers requesting material: Following the subject index is an additional index arranged by the identification numbers assigned by Gould and Greffe. This index shows all formats created for each image, includes the container location, and the HRC assigned number unique to each item. Researchers should use the unique HRC-assigned number when requesting material.

Related Material

Additional materials by are held in two other collections. The James H. "Jimmy" Hare Photography Collection (PH-02511) is a discrete set of 73 original photographs by Hare of the Russo-Japanese war, only 9 of which overlap with images in this collection. The Lewis L. and Karen Gould Photography Collection (PH-01801) includes a handwritten letter from Hare to a Captain Bissell, dated March 15, 1928. A copy of Gould's and Greffe's biography of Hare, Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare, is located in the Center's library (call number TR 140 H37 G68 HRC-P).

Index Terms


Hare, James H., 1856-1946.


Aeronautics--United States--History--Pictorial works.
Balkan Peninsula--History--War of 1912-1913--Pictorial works.
Ballooning--Pictorial works.
Boy Scouts.
Mexico--History--Revolution, 1910-1920--Pictorial works.
Middle East--Pictorial works.
Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905--Pictorial works.
Spanish-American War, 1898--Pictorial works.
World War, 1914-1918--Hospitals--Pictorial works.
World War, 1914-1918--Pictorial works.



Document Types

Albumen prints.
Dry plate negatives.
Gelatin silver prints.
Lantern slides.
Nitrate negatives.

Container List