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Archival S.L. Tribune Photos Offer Glimpse of Mid-Century Life in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 170,000 photographs from the archives of The Salt Lake Tribune are now publicly available through the Utah Division of State History Digital Collections.

The wide assortment of pictures taken by Tribune photographers from the 1930s to the 1960s capture the major news events of the mid-20th century, from the derailment of a train in Bingham Canyon to visits by political figures such as former presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. But many other pictures offer a glimpse into life in Utah during the period, through images such as a baseball game at Derk’s Field (pictured), the Salt Lake Christmas parade, or summer fireworks.

“This will be an incredible resource for historians and genealogists. The Utah Division of State History, by making these images available to the public, has given us something of value beyond my ability to describe,” said Jeremy Harmon, the director of photography for The Salt Lake Tribune.

The project to digitize 171,664 images began in late 2015 through the Department of Heritage & Arts digitization fund, which was created by the Utah Legislature in 2007. With the addition of this photo collection, 276,155 images have been digitized by State History. These include hundreds of photos preserved from extremely fragile glass plates or nitrate negatives.

“The historic information preserved through these digitization projects, which the Legislature has funded for a decade and continues to fund, provide extraordinary value to anybody interested in Utah’s history, cultural past, and growth,” Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, said.

When manuscripts, journals, and other materials are included, more than 1.5 million historic objects have been made available to the public through the collections database.

“These photographs are more than just objects of curiosity, they are momentary windows of evidence into the past,” said Brad Westwood, director of State History. “They tell us what some of Utah’s most respected photojournalists thought important or interesting.”

To view the photographs from The Salt Lake Tribune’s photo archives as well as hundreds of thousands other images from State History, visit history.utah.gov/utah-state-history-digital-collections. For more information about all of the digital art, history, and government collections available through the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, visit heritage.utah.gov/collections-dha.