Guide to the LaVell Cooley photograph collection,
1920-1985

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cooley, I. LaVell, 1901-
Title: LaVell Cooley photograph collection
Dates: 1920-1985 ( inclusive )
1940-1960 ( bulk )
Quantity: 4 boxes (2 linear ft. )
Collection Number: USU_P0101
Summary: The LaVell Cooley Photograph Collection consists of 736 artistic and personal photographs (both black & white and color) taken by this career military man and Utah State University graduate. Included in the collection are a few early shots of the Utah State University campus, but the bulk consists of views taken while on military assignment in the Virgin Islands (including Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Dutch Guinea, Haiti, and Jamaica) as well as national parks (including Monument Valley, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion National Park), mountain scenes, and the California coast. Cooley and his wife Gwendolyn appear in many of the images. More Cooley photographs (including black and white and color 16mm film of national parks) can be found in the unprocessed photographs.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Photograph Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

LaVell Irwin Cooley (1901-1980) was the son of Oscar Wood Cooley, manager of the Utah State cafeteria for many years. LaVell took up photography at an early age making many images for the Buzzer yearbooks. In 1925, after graduating with a degree in chemistry, he attended summer school and worked on his Masters Degree in Geology, which he earned in 1929. Cooley later became a research engineer in Long Beach, California where he worked with photomicrographic and high speed photography. In 1940 he was called to active duty with the Army; his first assignment was Camp Callan, LaJolla, California. LaVell held several command positions during World War II, and retired after becoming physically disabled. He and his wife settled in Los Altos, where he immediately built a darkroom and continued his photography for the rest of his life. He died in 1980.

Content Description

The LaVell Cooley Photograph Collection consists of 736 images of artistic and personal photographs taken by this career military man and Utah State University graduate. Included in the collection are a few early shots on campus, but the bulk consists of views taken while on military assignment in the Virgin Islands (including Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Dutch Guinea, Haiti, and Jamaica) as well as national parks (including Monument Valley, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion National Park), mountain scenes, and the California coast. Cooley and his wife Gwendolyn appear in many of the images. More Cooley photographs (including black and white and color 16mm film of national parks) can be found in the unprocessed photographs.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the LaVell Cooley photograph collection> must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

LaVell Cooley photograph collection, 1920-1985. (P0101). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized numerical by photo number.

Acquisition Information :  

The collection was donated by Cooley's widow, Gwendolyn Cooley, of Los Altos, California in June of 1995.

Processing Note :  

Register completed by Daniel Davis, May 2006.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Grand Teton National Park
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 1
1:01:01-1:01:03: Chapel of the Transfiguration
1:01:04-08: Views of Grand Teton National Park (Jenny Lake?)
1:01:09-11: Photos of a woman on a horse

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Yellowstone National Park
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 2
1:02:01-02. : Views of The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (waterfall)
1:02:03: Elk discarding winter coat
1:02:04-05: Views of Yellowstone river
1:02:06-07: Scenic views of Grand Canyon?
1:02:08: Bison
1:02:09: The Firehole River
1:02:10: A black bear
1:02:11: Tower Falls
1:02:12-14: Views of geyser formations in the park

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Death Valley, CA:
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 3
1:03:01-03: Views of the valley

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Mesa Verde:
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 4
1:04:01-06. : Views of the Indian ruins at Mesa Verde

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Zion National Park:
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 5
1:05:01-02: Views of the Narrows
1:05:03-08: Rock Candy Mountain area, along Mt. Carmel Highway (just outside of Zion National Park)
1:05:09-17: Great White Throne area
1::05:18: Park visitors exploring on rocks
1:05:19-20: Virgin River. Entrance to Park
1:05:21-30: The Narrows. Some views include a group of Boy Scouts and their leaders

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Yosemite National Park:
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 6-9
1:06:01-15: Several different views of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
1:07:01-10b. : Yosemite National Park Waterfalls and Streams
1:08:01-03: Photos of deer
1:08:04. : View of road, car driving out of park
1:08:05. : Oddly shaped tree stump

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Views of Glacier National Park
Container(s)
box
folder
1 9

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Mount Whitney and Glacier Lake:
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 10
1:10:01-06. : Views of Mount Whitney and Glacier Lake
1:10:07. : Alabama Hills. Back of Lone Pine, CA
1:10:08. : View of the park
1:10:09. : View of a 19 mile hike, showing a glacier lake
1:10:10-11: Views of the park

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Various views of Mount Whitney

1:11:01-12.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 11

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Views of the Alabama Hills near Mt. Whitney

1:12:01-14.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 12

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Infra-red views of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

1:13:01-05.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 13

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Winter Scenes of Yosemite National Park, including Mirror Lake

1:14:01-09.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 14

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Winter Scenes of Yosemite National Park

1:15:01-11.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 15

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Christmas at Yosemite , 1931.

1:16:01-08.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 16

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Views of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park

1:17:01-13.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 17

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Arizona photos
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
2 1
2:01:01: A pueblo ruin in Arizona
2:01:02: A native-American woman with baby in Arizona
2:01:03: Cancer on Sajuaro cactus near Tuscon
2:01:04-11: Various views of cacti in Arizona
2:01:12-27: Views of the Arizona desert, various photos of cacti, flowers

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Craters of the Moon
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
2 2
2:02:01: "Craters of the Moon" on the way to Sun Valley

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Views of Washington, D.C

2:3:01-02.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 3

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Views of Richmond, Virginia

2:4:01-03.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 4

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Photos near El Paso, Texas

2:5:01-03.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 5

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San Juan Capistrano Mission near San Diego

2:6:01-04.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 6

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Animal Photos
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
2 7
2:07:01-02: Elephants
2:07:03: Cocker Spaniel
2:07:04: Donkey
2:07:05: Chipmunk

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Niagra Falls

2:8:01.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 8

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Columbia River (falls)

2:9:01-02.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 9

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San Juan Capistrano Mission near San Diego

2:10:01-15.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 10

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Virginia City, Nevada

2:11:01-02.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 11

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White Sands, New Mexico

2:12:01-22.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 12

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North California Scences, incliuding Stanford University
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
2 13
2:13:01-02: Devil's Post Pile, High Sierras
2:13:03-04: Views of Stanford
2:13:05-06: Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
2:13:07-08: Views of the High Sierras, near Bishop, CA
2:13:09-10: Devil's Post Pile
2:13:11: Lodge at Mount Hood
2:13:12-22: Redwood trees in North California, including the General Sherman tree
2:13:23: Beautiful old home of Pacific Lumber Co. President Eureka, California
2:13:24: Burney Falls
2:13:25-30: More views of Redwood forests
Includes photos of LaVell, Gwen and friends among the trees.
2:13:31-34: San Francisco Bay
2:13:35-38: Views of the California-Oregon coast (Pyramid Rock?)
2:13:39: Russian Church
2:13:40-41: Famous old cypress at Carmel
2:13:42: Stanford Chapel
2:13:43: View on the way to the Gold Country

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Views of New Orleans including Jackson Square Cathedral, Statue of Andrew Jackson, and The Old Absinthe House

2:14:01-17.

Container(s)
box
folder
2 14

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Views of Georgetown, British Guiana (Manatees?)

3:01:01-07.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 1

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Views of New Orleans including Jackson Square Cathedral, Statue of Andrew Jackson, and The Old Absinthe House

3:02:01-10.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 2

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Panama
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
3 3
3:03:01. : Colon-Panama (Caribbean Side)
3:03:02-05. : Old Panama City (Pacific Side)

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Culebra Island
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
2 12
3:04:01. : Typical West Indies Cove at Culebra Island, between Puerto Rico and the virgin Islands

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Views of Kingston, Jamaica

3:05:01-03.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 5

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Paramaribo, Dutch Guinea
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
3 6
3:06:01. : Market Place in Paramaribo, Dutch Guinea

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
3 7
3:07:01. : Market Place at Port-au-Prince in Haiti

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Views of Trinidad including the famous Tar Pits

3:08:01-13.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 8

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San Juan Harbor

3:09:01.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 9

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Views of San Juan, Puerto Rico including poor native families, and photos of the trip from Puerto Rico to Trinidad

3:10:01-22.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 10

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Views of San Juan, Puerto Rico including Fort El Moro

3:10:01-20. Some duplicates of photos in folder 10.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 11

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Views of Puerto Rico including the oldest Christian church in the western hemisphere at San German (dated about 1511 AD)

3:12:01-16.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 12

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Views of Puerto Rico including locals harvesting sugar cane fields, Colonel Jones, and a snapshot of the Capital Building at San Juan

3:13:01-21.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 13

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Various photos of LaVell and others in Puerto Rico

3:14:01-31.

Container(s)
box
folder
3 14

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Views of Cache Valley, Utah, Arizona and California
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 1
4:01:01: Woman taking photo of a girl and a dog
4:01:02: A field of Sheep
4:01:03: Rick's Spring in Logan Canyon, Utah
4:01:04: View of the Valley, LDS Temple in sight
4:01:05: Old Main USAC Campus in winter
4:01:06: View of LDS Temple
4:01:07: View of Logan Canyon from USU Campus
4:01:08: Great Grandma Cooley with baby Gene and his Grandpa
4:01:09: Old Main Tower
4:01:10: A photo of the Cooley Family

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Various views of Hoover Dam and electric equipment

4:02:01-07.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 2

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Views of Palm Springs including Palm Springs Canyon

4:03:01-11. Photo 11 is in color.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 3

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Photos of Monument Valley (Also Arches National Monument?)

4:04:01-06.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 4

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Photos of Arizona: Mostly palm trees

4:05:01-11. Photo 10 is the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 5

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Photos of Utah
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 6
4:06:01. : Cache Valley, Utah. Wellsville and Mendon in the distance
4:06:02-03: Logan Canyon
4:06:04: Wasatch Mountain Range of the Rocky Mountains (near Brigham City)
4:06:05-17: Views of aspen trees in Southern Utah

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Photos of California
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 7
4:07:01: Harbor in Southern California
4:07:02: Cypress tree in Carmel, CA
4:07:04: Old Prospector in Borego Desert, CA
4:07:05-06: Southern California, Los Angeles area
4:07:07-24: Photos of Sailboats
4:07:25-43: Ocean views on the California Coast
4:07:44: San Juan Capistrano Mission, near San Diego
4:07:45-48: Various photos of boats
4:07:49-50: Photos of olvera Street in L.A

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Various views of Bryce Canyon (also Pueblo Ruin)

4:08:01-09.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 6

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Cedar Breaks
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 9
4:09:01: Photo of Cedar Breaks

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Mount Saint Helen's and Spirit Lake

4:10:01-02.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 10

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Photos of LaVell, Gwen and other military friends stationed in various countries including Trinidad and Puerto Rico

4:11:01-21.

Container(s)
box
folder
4 11

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Unidentified locations
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 12
4:12:01-11: Different angles of unidentified beach and valley locations, possibly in Haiti
4:12:12-26: Photos of natives and their homes in various unidentified locations, possible Puerto Rico and/or Trinidad

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Unidentified locations
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 13
4:13:01-04. : Views of cows in an unknown location
4:13:05-11. : Unidentified photos of buildings and street scenes probably in Puerto Rico, Antigua, or Trinidad
4:13:12: A man looking at photos of topless women
4:13:13-15: Unidentified water scenes
4:13:16-23. : Photos of plants in tropical locations

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Some locations unidentified
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
4 14
4:14:01: Shoshone Falls, Idaho
4:14:02: The California coast
4:14:03: A wooden cabin with a fallen tree straight through the middle of it. Possibly in the Redwood Forest in CA
4:14:04: Gwen and LaVell Cooley (in uniform) standing in front of a white house with columns-location unknown
4:14:05: A postcard with photos of four of the public schools in Brigham City, Utah
4:14:06: A blossoming tree
4:14:07: Corn stalks
4:14:08: Military men in uniform surrounding a bomb on display
Label on back of photo: "Roc Glide Bomb."
4:14:09: A field of wild daisies
4:14:10: Photo of a woman collecting rocks
4:14:11: A field of wheat, ready to harvest, probably in Cache Valley
4:14:12-13: Photos of dead tree stumps
4:14:14-21: Mountain scenes of trees and stream. One view in winter
4:14:22-23: Views of unidentified mountains
One photo includes a cemetery possibly in Cache Valley.
4:14:24-57: Various unidentified photos: trees, rivers, lakes, mountains (Yosemite? Mount Rainer? Southern Utah?)

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Cooley, I. LaVell, 1901- --Photographs.
    • Family Names :
    • Cooley family--Photographs.
    • Corporate Names :
    • United States. Armed Forces--Photographs.
    • Utah State University--History--Photographs.
    • Subject Terms :
    • National parks and reserves--United States--Photographs.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--Photographs.
    • California--Photographs.
    • Puerto Rico--Photographs.
    • Virgin Islands--Photographs.

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