Skip to main content

Leonard Hollmann photograph collection

Call Number: RH PH 536


This is a collection of mostly Kansas photographic material, the bulk of which dates from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. Leonard Hollmann collected this material over a span of many years, amassing a collection of over 10,000 images in various photographic formats including stereoviews, postcards, cabinet cards, cartes de visites, and other formats. The photographs include images of towns, families, individuals, universities, home life, farm life, military life, and other subjects. Some of the photographs were taken in formal studio settings, while others are candid and informal. Most of the locations (towns) have been identified, and some of the individuals and events have been identified, while others have no identification. The vast majority of the collection concerns Kansas and Kansas photographers, with an excellent representation of towns in Douglas County, Kansas. There is also a broad collection of material from Kansas City, Missouri. Photographic material from other towns in Missouri, Nebraska, other states, and countries are also represented.


  • Creation: bulk 1850s-1920s, 1930-2015

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Leonard Hollmann

Leonard Henry Hollmann was born July 24, 1935 in Highland, Illinois. As an adult he lived in Eudora, Kansas and was active in Saint Paul Church and the Eudora Area Historical Society and Museum, serving as its secretary. He was passionate about photography, history, and renovating antique furniture. He frequently purchased items for his photographic collection from the auction internet website Ebay. Hollmann died on January 30, 2016 in Eudora, Kansas.


49.75 linear foot (Approximately 10,000 items in 99 boxes + 9 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection includes early photographic formats (ambrotypes, tintypes), cartes de visite, cabinet cards, boudoir cards, other card-mounted photographs, photographic postcards, photographic prints on paper, and stereoviews, mostly from Kansas, especially the town of Lawrence and other towns in Douglas County. Because the donor/collector was especially interested in photographers and publishers in Kansas and kept detailed lists of what was represented by them in his collection, photographers and publishers typically have been detailed in this finding aid, along with the Kansas town they represent.

In addition to the Kansas material, the collection contains images from Kansas City, Missouri, other towns of Missouri, Nebraska (especially in the stereoviews series), other states, and occasionally images of Americans in other countries, mostly during World War II. There is also a small ephemera collection, mostly of material from Lawrence, Kansas.

The stereoview collection, in general, is comprised of unique Kansas and Nebraska images not widely reproduced or distributed. Stereocards are a double set of photographic paper prints mounted on cardstock, viewed through a stereoscope to produce a three-dimensional image. A stereoviewer is available to study the stereoviews as they were intended to be viewed (see box 79).

The tintype collection, in general, was accumulated based on the Kansas content, but there are also hundreds of portrait images that have no identification as to the location (although probably in the United States) or the individuals in the portraits. These tintypes are unique because of the candid poses of the portraits or because of unique props and other features.

Items from Douglas County are described in greater detail than items from other areas of Kansas. Care has been taken to describe African American, Native American, and other groups throughout the collection in order to make these images more discoverable to researchers, although some may have been missed or otherwise incorrectly associated.


The collection is organized by format: postcards, cabinet cards and other board or card mounted photographs, cartes de visite, early photographic portraits (tintypes and ambrotypes), slides, photographic prints on paper, stereoviews, and oversize photographs.

Generally, each of the photographic format divisions, except for the stereoviews, have been organized alphabetically by location--town name of origin if from Kansas, otherwise by state name or town name. Postcards, due to the variety of topics represented, have been further organized by subject.

The cabinet cards, cartes de visite, and tintypes (to some extent) are further organized in alphabetical order by photographers' names or studios. If the photographer is unidentified, but the town is identified, the photograph is described under the town name. If the town and photographer both are unidentified, then the photograph is described in the "unidentified" or "no identification" subseries at the end of each series.

The photographic prints on paper have been further divided by subject. The photographer is described in the notes, if identified.

Stereoviews have been organized by publisher, based on the intellectual arrangement used by Leonard Hollmann.

In addition to the photographic collection, there is a series of ephemera, organized by location (city name), and also a series of lists composed by the donor regarding the collections.

Oversize materials have been housed separately, but have been described with their format (mostly with cabinet cards and other board mounted photographs).

Arrangement by subject typically follows these categories: 1. Agriculture, 2. Animals, 3. Biography, 4. Cities and towns, 5. Commerce, 6. Domestic, 7. Education, 8. Genre, 9. Industry, 10. Landscapes and geography, 11. Law and law enforcement, 12. Medicine, 13. Military, 14. Native American cultures, 15. Politics and government, 16. Recreation, 17. Religion, 18. Social customs, 19. Societies and clubs, 20. Transportation, 21. Weather and disasters, 22. African American history and other ethnicities/cultural identities, 23. Western and frontier history (generally the category "Cities and towns" was used instead of this one). Individuals are generally under "biography," African American or Native American individuals specifically denoted when possible, and universities are under the "Education" category.

Physical Location

RH PH 536

Physical Location

RH PH 536 (f)

Physical Location

RH PH 536 glass negatives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Leonard Hollmann, 2015.

Processing Information

Some of the folders in the first few boxes have been stamped with an incorrect spelling of Hollmann's name (with one "n" instead of two). The abbreviation for the University of Kansas (KU) has been used extensively in describing images in this collection.

Three slide boxes of Wilber D. Hess' material and a set of photographs of Aronda Hurst were erroneously processed with the Leonard Hollmann Collection. These items were removed from the Hollmann collection in March 2021 and placed with the Wilbur D. Hess collection (RH MS 1526). The slide boxes were moved from box 78 of RH PH 536 to box 83 of RH MS 1526. The Hurst photographs were moved from box 72, folders 43-46 of RH PH 536 to box 15, folder 15 of RH MS 1526.

Guide to the Leonard Hollmann Photograph Collection
Leonard Hollmann photograph collection
Finding aid prepared by lmw, 2019. Finding aid encoded by lmw, 2019. Finding aid revised by lmw, 2021; mwh, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Leonard Hollmann photograph collection, RH PH 536, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States