Old Courthouse Exhibit Features the Earliest Pictures of Yellowstone National Park

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Date: November 1, 2006
Contact: Myron Freedman, (314) 655-1600

An exciting exhibition of rare 1871 William Henry Jackson "alberttypes" will be on display in the Old Courthouse from November 8, 2006 to January 21, 2007.  Entitled Let Wonderland Tell Its Story: William Henry Jackson’s 1871 Alberttypes, the exhibit features the first printed depictions from photographic images of geographical features in what became Yellowstone National Park in 1872.  Jackson was appointed the official photographer for an epic 1871 exploration of the Yellowstone Plateau by the U.S. Government, led by geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden.  The "alberttype" was an engraving process invented in 1868, and hailed at the time as producing copies whose quality approached those of a fine original photographic print.  

The Yellowstone alberttypes were used to convince legislators and the public to establish Yellowstone as America’s first national park.  Among the views are numerous geologic features that would make the name Yellowstone synonymous with America’s natural treasures, including geysers, geothermals, canyons, and waterfalls.  The alberttype process was short-lived, with only a few known sets in existence today, making these documents rare, beautiful, and astonishing treasures.

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, established in 1935, is comprised of the Gateway Arch, Museum of Westward Expansion, and the Old Courthouse.  This National Park Service area commemorates St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States during the 1800s and honors individuals such as Dred and Harriet Scott who sued for their freedom in the Old Courthouse. 

The Gateway Arch is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the summer).  The Old Courthouse is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year-round.  All ranger-led and special museum programs are FREE of charge.  Fees are charged for the tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch and for the films shown in the Gateway Arch visitor center.  For additional information, call 314/655-1700 weekdays, or 7-1-1 Voice/TTY Telecommunications Relay Service.  Visit us at www.nps.gov/jeff

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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