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Hollenback Family Photo Collection

Identifier: PAAC-0096

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection consists of family photos, including studio portraits and snapshots of varying sizes and formats. The majority of these date from about the 1860s to the 1940s; however, the collection also includes photos, negatives, notes, and a partial collection inventory made by historian and author Mary J. Cook in the 1980s as part of her research into Amelia Hollenback. Of special interest are the large number of cartes de visite, tintypes, and cabinet cards contained in the collection. The collection also includes photos of places and buildings associated with the Hollenback family, travel photos, postcards, mementos, letters, prints by professional Western photographers, and multiple family photo albums. The highlight of the collection is a set of two large photo albums documenting Amelia and Josephine Hollenback’s 1897 trip through the American Southwest. These albums serve as a personal visual account of their journey through Kansas, Arizona, and New Mexico and include early photos of such notable sites as the Grand Canyon and Laguna, Acoma, Zuni, and Hopi Pueblos.


  • 1861 - 1986
  • Majority of material found within ca. 1870s-ca. 1940s

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to researchers on an appointment basis only, pending approval of application to view original material.

Copy Restrictions

Permission to publish must be obtained from Photo Archives. Online Request Permission form available at: User responsible for all copyright compliance

Biographical Information

The Hollenback Family Photo Collection documents the history of the Hollenback family, a prominent Pennsylvania family with close ties to New Mexico. The bulk of the collection originally belonged to Amelia Beard Hollenback (1877-1969), the daughter of businessman John Welles Hollenback (1827-1923) and his third wife Amelia Beard Hollenback, Sr. (1844-1918). John Welles Hollenback was born John Roset Welles but legally changed his name to John Welles Hollenback in 1862 at the behest of his mother’s family. He was a prominent figure in the Pennsylvania coal mining industry and managed several family business assets, including the Hollenback Coal Exchange in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

John Welles Hollenback married three times and had six daughters. His first wife was Anna Beard Hollenback (1835-1864), and their daughter was Emily Hollenback Taylor (1859-1950). His second wife was Josephine Woodward Hollenback (1835-1872), and their daughters were Eleanor Hollenback Gibson (1867-1946), Josephine Hollenback Twyeffort (1868-1919), and Anna Welles Hollenback (1870-1953). His third wife was Amelia Beard Hollenback, Sr., who was a sister of his first wife, and their daughters were Amelia Beard Hollenback and Juliette Genève Hollenback (1881-1917). The family lived in Brooklyn, New York and spent their summers at “The Cottage,” their summer residence in Glen Summit, Pennsylvania. Emily’s daughter Anna Taylor (nicknamed “Pud”), Eleanor’s children John and Juliette Gibson, and Josephine’s children Louis Twyeffort, Jr. and Dorothy Twyeffort Hubbell are also represented in this collection. [Note: see genealogy material in Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, AC 544, Box 1, Folders 1 and 2 for detailed information on Hollenback, Welles, and Beard families.]

In 1897, Amelia Hollenback and her half-sister Josephine fulfilled a lifelong interest in the American Southwest by taking a grand tour of the region which they referred to as their “Great American Trip.” On this trip, Amelia and Josephine visited and photographed such notable sites as the Grand Canyon, Montezuma’s Castle and Well, Petrified Forest, and the pueblos of Laguna, Acoma, Zuni, and Hopi with their personal cameras. They also witnessed and photographed the 1897 Hopi Snake Dance at the village of Walpi. Amelia continued to be fascinated by the Southwest. She revisited several times throughout her life and built a home designed by the architect John Gaw Meem in Santa Fe in 1932.

Throughout her long life, Amelia Hollenback (known affectionately as “Minna” to her family) amassed a large collection of family portraits, travel snapshots, professional photos, postcards, and memorabilia. Although she never married or had children herself, she kept in frequent contact with her sisters and their families and collected numerous photos of her various family members. She died at age 92 in New York in 1969. Amelia’s remarkable photo collection serves as an important record of nineteenth-century family life, as well as the unique experiences of female travelers in the American Southwest in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


5.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Related Material

AC 626 Mary Jean Cook Collection, Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A. Cook, Mary J. Straw, ed. Immortal Summer: A Victorian Woman’s Travels in the Southwest. The 1897 Letters and Photographs of Amelia Hollenback. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2002. The Hollenback Family Photo Collection was used in assembling this book.

Separated Material

AC 544 Amelia Hollenback Jr. Collection, Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.


The Hollenback Family Photo Collection was used in assembling this book.
Hollenback Family Photo Collection, 1861-1986
Edited Full Draft
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA