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Harrison Photographs and Manuscripts


Photographs in the collection are primarily personal photographs of Michael and Margaret B. Harrison documenting their lives from an early baby photograph of Michael Harrison in 1898 to Michael’s birthday celebrations at 100 and subsequent years. An early photograph album from the 1920s of Grand Canyon days documents Harrison’s work as a Grand Canyon National Park Service ranger and his interest in the Navajo and Hopi peoples. The photographic work of Elizabeth Compton (later Hegemann), Harrison’s first wife, is to be found in the early photographs.

Other photographs include those from family and friends as well as illustrative photographs, and postcards found in books. Michael Harrison also collected photographs relating to his subject interests.

Michael Harrison on horse
Michael Harrison at the Grand Canyon National Park, circa 1925


Michael Harrison corresponded with many authors, museum directors, and editors of western presses. His letters often discuss the purchase of books or his thoughts on an author’s research and handling of a subject. He also corresponded with university faculty and students; history buffs; fellow club members in book clubs, Westerners International groups, the Little Big Horn Associates, and other western interest groups; national park service administrators and other government agents; friends; and family. His correspondence provides a record of the role Michael Harrison played in helping others research and write about western topics. The correspondence also helps us understand Harrison’s personality and thoughts on the treatment of Native Americans, views on General George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and other western topics.

Letter from Michael Harrison to historian Richard Dillon, 1996
Letter from Michael Harrison to historian J. Frank Dobie, 1958


Several authors turned to Michael Harrison for advice on their book manuscripts. Included in the collection is a manuscript of Elizabeth Compton Hegemann’s Navaho Trading Days.