DAVID F. BARRY PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The David F. Barry Papers contains correspondence between Barry and photograph dealers and other customers seeking details and prices for Barry's portraits. In his correspondence, Barry often reveals details of his experiences as a pioneer photographer and his subjects.
While letters Barry wrote to dealers are originals, those he wrote to Elizabeth Bacon Custer (General Custer’s widow), Colonel William A. Graham, and others, are copies.
The correspondence gives Barry’s impressions of individual Indians and soldiers with whom he was acquainted and describes his current life, his business, and his wife's declining health. A few advertising fliers are included in the collection.
The Denver Public Library purchased the collection of David Barry's original glass negatives in 1937.
Collection also available on microfilm: Mflm176.
The collection is open for research.
David F. Barry Papers are the physical property of the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
David Frances Barry was born near Rochester, New York, on March 6, 1854. His family moved to Wisconsin in 1861. By about 1870 Barry worked carrying water for an itinerant photographer named O.S. Goff, a relationship that was to be reestablished a few years later. Not much is known of Barry's life from 1870 until Goff hired him in 1878 to help him in his Bismarck, Dakota Territory, gallery. In Bismarck, Barry learned the art of photography and became Goff's apprentice, employee, and business partner.
Between 1878 and 1883, Barry traveled to Fort Buford, Fort Yates, and other forts in the Dakota Territory. He went as far north as Fort Assiniboine in Montana. For these trips he used a portable photographic studio in which he took most of his portraits. He photographed famous Native Americans including Sitting Bull, Rain in the Face, Gall, Red Cloud, and Shooting Star. Barry also photographed some of the most important forts and battlefields of the Plains Wars, military officers including General George A. Crook, soldiers, trappers, and pioneers. In 1883, Barry returned to Bismarck where he operated a studio and gallery. He established a friendship with Buffalo Bill Cody and photographed members of Cody's Wild West Show.
In 1890, Barry moved to Superior, Wisconsin, and opened a photographic studio and gallery dealing in his Dakota Territory photographs. He moved to New York City for a brief period around 1892, but returned to Superior where he lived until his death in 1934.
1 microfilm reels (35mm)
Other Finding Aids
The Albert W. Johnson correspondence was purchased in 1943 from Albert W. Johnson. John Kleinschmidt donated the John Kleinschmidt correspondence.
Number of Boxes: 1 (.25 linear feet)
Microfilm: 1 reel (Mflm176)
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Barry, David F., 1854-1934 -- Archives.
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Dakota Territory -- History. Subject Source: Naf
- Photographers -- North Dakota -- History. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographers -- Wisconsin -- Superior -- Correspondence. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- DAVID F. BARRY PAPERS
- December 2007
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