442 negatives : glass, black and white ; 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.
345 photographic prints : black and white ; various sizes.
33 albums (1,606 photographic prints) : black and white ; 28.5 x 39 cm.
The Eric A. Hegg photographs consist of glass negatives, original photographic prints, and copy and contact prints documenting gold rush localities and activities in the Klondike River Valley of Alaska and the Yukon Territory, circa 1887-1915 -- The collection includes images of the Yukon gold rush and gold mining activity, the White Pass trail, the Chilkoot Trail, Dawson, Nome, Skagway, steamboats, dogsledding, and Eskimos.
Swedish-born photographer Eric Hegg, who opened his first studio on Bellingham Bay in Washington State, joined the thousands of gold seekers who were heading to the Yukon Territories in 1897 -- Hegg traveled by steamboat up the Inside Passage through British Columbia to Alaska, where he settled temporarily in Dyea. During the winter of 1897-1898, he established a photography business in Skagway with Per Larss to document the huge migration to the Yukon known as "the Stampede." Hegg made frequent trips to the Chilkoot Pass following the footsteps of the thousands of Klondikers who wound their way up the Dyea River to the Golden Staircase and into British Columbia. Along the trail he documented the sail driven sleds, temporary tent towns, piles of snow-covered food caches, and the hardships endured by the Klondikers. During the three weeks that Hegg travelled north on the Yukon River, many of his photographs of the trip were produced in a travelling darkroom aboard his boat. In Dawson, he set up a formal partnership with Per Larss, but in September 1898 the studio was devasted by fire. After rebuilding in the summer of 1899, Hegg sold his interest in his Dawson studio to Larss and headed for Nome to investigate the reports of new gold strikes. He spent two years recording life on the Seward Peninsula, which included mining operations in Nome and the surrounding area. Hegg closed both his Skagway and Nome studios in 1902. Between 1905 and 1918, he worked in Juneau and later in Cordova, where he signed on as company photographer during the construction of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad for the Guggenheims. After leaving Alaska, Hegg worked in Hawaii for a San Francisco newspaper. He died in San Diego in 1955.
The original albums and negatives are not available for use due to preservation concerns.
The required credit line for use of images from Special Collections is: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, [plus the negative number].
Copy and contact prints were made from the original negatives and photographic prints, and are available for public use in the Special Collections division, University of Washington Libraries.
Portions of the collection have also been issued electronically via the World Wide Web by the UW Libraries' Digital Initiatives Program.
Restrictions exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.
Finding aid available in the repository.