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John C. Swensen photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8424

Scope and Contents

Materials include 553 photographs taken by John C. Swensen. The majority of the photographs were taken in Utah, but there are also photographs taken in the states surrounding Utah, especially Idaho and California, and some photographs in locations on the Eastern coast of the United States. There are many photographs of people, especially family and friends. There are also photographs of important events, including the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition and the 1915 Panama-California International Exhibition. There are also many photographs of places and landscapes, including the Stanford University campus, Yellowstone, Mount Timpanogos, and the Grand Canyon. Dated approximately 1900-1950. Photographs from series 1 through 18 were printed by L. Tom Perry Special Collections Photograph Archives from original negatives between 2011 and 2014.


  • approximately 1900-1950


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from John C. Swensen photographs must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

John C. (Canute) Swensen (1869-1953) was a teacher at Brigham Young Academy and a professor of sociology, dean of the College of Education, and athletic director at Brigham Young University.

John C. (Canute) Swensen was born on February 4, 1869 in Pleasant Grove to Knud and Johanna Marie Hansen Swensen. His parents were born in Denmark and had immigrated to the United States. John C. was the fourth of five children. He was married to Margaret Davis on June 21, 1899; they had ten children. John C. had early experiences with farming. He served a six week mission to Park City. He then began his teaching career in Panguitch, Utah, in 1889. John C. later received the A.B. at Stanford University and later obtained an M.A. at Columbia University. He received instruction from the early sociologists of America. He was devoted in his teaching. He began teaching at Brigham Young Academy in 1898. He was dean of the college division of Brigham Young University from 1904-1910 and acting dean of BYU’s College of Education from 1921-1925. He was the head of BYU’s sociology department for 30 years. He died on August 30, 1953.


4 boxes (2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Items are arranged in 20 series by topic: 1. John C. Swensen photographs of Timpanogos, approximately 1900-1950. 2. John C. Swensen photographs of the back of Mount Timpanogos, approximately 1900-1950. 3. John C. Swensen photographs of American Fork Canyon, approximately 1900-1950. 4. John C. Swensen photographs of Provo Canyon, approximately 1900-1950. 5. John C. Swensen photographs of Brigham Young University, approximately 1900-1950. 6. John C. Swensen photographs of 24th of July parade, approximately 1910-1912. 7. John C. Swensen photographs of Salt Lake valley, approximately 1900-1950. 8. John C. Swensen photographs of Southern Utah, approximately 1906-1909. 9. John C. Swensen photographs of the Grand Canyon, approximately 1906. 10. John C. Swensen photographs of the Buckskin Mountains, approximately 1905-1912. 11. John C. Swensen photographs of Idaho, approximately 1905-1912. 12. John C. Swensen photographs of Yellowstone, approximately 1905-1912. 13. John C. Swensen photograph of New York, approximately 1905-1915. 14. John C. Swensen photograph of Washington, D.C., approximately 1905-1915. 15. John C. Swensen photographs of California, approximately 1905-1924. 16. John C. Swensen photographs of the pioneer trail, approximately 1900-1950. 17. John C. Swensen family photographs, approximately 1900-1950. 18. John C. Swensen miscellaneous photographs, approximately 1900-1950. 19. John C. Swensen original photographs, approximately 1900-1950. 20. John C. Swensen negatives, approximately 1900-1950.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Albert Swenson; 1974.


Photographs (Photograph Archives).

Processing Information

Processed; Anne Ashton, student photograph processor; 2014.

Register of John C. Swensen photographs
Anne Ashton
2014 August 15
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States