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Alpha Mortenson Collection

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2008-025

Content Description

The collection consists of roughly 13 cubic feet of materials relating to the photographer Alpha Mortenson. Alpha was a commercial photographer near Platte, SD. She was a lifelong resident of the area. Alpha was born near Platte on May 26, 1887 to Johan Arnt and Anne Elizabeth Mortenson. She attended Platte public school and went to Jewell Lutheran College in Jewel, IA. She later studied photography and had studios in Platte, Lake Andes, and Lake Park, MN for several years. She died November 14, 1950. The boxes include hundreds of glass plate negatives, glass plate negative boxes, photo prints, and other related materials. It will be necessary to perform preservation work on the glass plates which will include cleaning, refoldering, scanning, boxing, and cataloging. It will take several years for the entire collection to be completely processed. The photographic equipment which includes tripods, cameras, and development materials will be sent to the museum of the State Historical Society for their consideration. In 2018, this collection was partially digitized and was made available on the South Dakota Digital Archives. Please see "External Documents" for link.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • ca. 1910-1940



13 Cubic Feet


The glass plates have been numbered, housed in glass plate foldersm, and placed in boxes in the vault. 9019 – Glass plate boxes (empty) 9020 – Oversized mounted photographs 9021A – Photos – Individuals 9021B – Photos – Families, Funerals, Farming, Automobiles, Groups, Buildings/Houses, Sleigh, Black Hills/Badlands, Weddings, Church, and School. 9022A – Photos – Children 9022B – Mounted Photos 9023A – Un-mounted photos (misc) 9023B – Photos – Children and Families 9023C – Cabinet Cards/ Photos 9024 – Photograph Developing Equipment, Diary 1940 MD 118 F2 - Confirmation Certificate—Alpha Mortenson, 1901