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C. R. Savage photograph collection

 Collection — oversize-folder: 1
Identifier: MSS P 24

Scope and Contents

Contains primarily original prints of photographs by Savage, covering all periods of his career. Of the 839 items, over 750 are clearly Savage photographs. Eighteen other photographers are also named, including Alfred A. Hart, Edw. J. Muybridge, and possibly Carleton E. Watkins photograph. Includes landscapes in Utah and the West, with many in Salt Lake City. Also includes portraits, many of leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with many of Brigham Young.


  • approximately 1860-1900


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research. Items kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from C.R. Savage photograph collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

C.R. Savage (1832-1909) was a photographer of the American West in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

C.R. Savage, born August 16, 1832, in England, became one of the foremost 19th century landscape photographers of the western United States, as well as a renowned studio portrait photographer, with his studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. The idea to emigrate from England to Utah undoubtedly began shortly after his 1848 baptism and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Savage's immigration in 1856 to New York marked the beginning of his known interest in establishing a photography business. On assignment from the Church he traveled to Florence, Nebraska. His family subsequently joined him in 1860 and Savage established a primitive studio in Council Bluffs, Nebraska. Finally, the family made their way across the country arriving in Salt Lake City on August 29, 1860. The next day he made business arrangements with Marsena Cannon, a daguerreotype photographer and owner of a studio on East Temple. In 1862, with Cannon's departure to St. George, Utah, Savage formed a partnership with George Martin Ottinger. Savage & Ottinger legally dissolved their firm in 1870, and that same year Savage formed the Pioneer Art Gallery, and in 1875, needing more space, he replaced it with the Art Bazaar.

On June 26, 1883, his Art Bazaar burned to the ground, with all of his negatives. After his death on February 3, 1909, another fire in 1911 destroyed all of the negatives from the last twenty-five years of his career. Although his sons continued to operate the business, the Art Bazaar closed its doors permanently on December 31, 1926.


8 boxes (4 linear ft.)

1 oversize folder (0.01 linear ft.)

3 oversize boxes (8 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in five series: 1. Charles R. Savage stereographs, 1849-1909. 2. Charles R. Savage carte-de-visites and cabinet cards, 1852-1918. 3. Charles R. Savage boudoir prints, 1855-1894. 4. Charles R. Savage photographs, 1847-1918. 5. Oversized C.R. Savage photographs, 1857-1910.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

Item-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

The photographs included in the C.R. Savage Photograph collection, MSS P 24, were gathered together over many years and include many contributors. The bulk of the collection was acquired in the early 1970s, no later than 1973, with the donation of several hundred original Savage prints from Marianne C. Sharp, the granddaughter of C.R. Savage, and her father, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., who had married Luciane, the youngest daughter of C.R. Savage.

In addition approximately 80 original prints were transferred from the following collections: P 167, the H. H. Tammen photograph collection; P 240 Phillip Margetts collection; P 43, C.R. Peterson; P 174 Anthony Street collection; P 21 James Talmage collection; P 615 Salt Lake collection; P 66 William Henry Jackson collection, P 231, the Knowlton family photographs, ca. 1880s-1930s; Vault MSS 528, the John Steele collection; and P-173, the Ruth Louise Partridge photograph collection. These transfers are generally noted in the inventory or container list.

A total of 13 photographs were either donated or purchased since the initial Savage collection was received from Marianne C. Sharp, and J. Reuben Clark, Jr. These include: two stereographs of Brigham Young from Susan O. Scroggins, received in 1984; in 1987 two photographs, subject unknown, were received from Nathaniel Cook; in 1981 three interior photographs of the Salt Lake Tabernacle were received from Vesta M. Stevenson; in 1988, three photographs of the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Salt Lake Temple, and the Lion House were received from Nathaniel Cook; also in 1988 a carte-de-visite of Devil's Gate, Weber Canyon, Utah (1866) was added, source unknown; in 1989 a photograph of Wilford Woodruff was purchased from Michael Swanson; and in 1997 a stereo photograph of the baptism of 250 Shebit Indians was donated by Richard K. and Johanna Wynns.

All subsequent Savage photographs received in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections will be treated as separate collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Marianne C. Sharp, Nathaniel Cook, Richard K. and Johanna Wynns; 1973-1997.


Photographs (Photograph Archives).

Processing Information

Processed; Billy Plunket, Tom Wells, Susan L. Fales, and Adrienne Gabriel; April 2004.

Register of C. R. Savage photograph collection
Billy Plunket, Tom Wells, Susan L. Fales, and Adrienne Gabriel
2004 April
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States