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C. William Horrell photograph collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description


Slides & Transparencies


C. William Horrell photograph collection, 1963-1979 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: C. William Horrell photograph collection, 1963-1979Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 2/1/PH 64

Primary Creator: Horrell, C. William

Extent: 56.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged by format into three series: (1) Negatives, (2) Slides & Transparencies, (3) Prints, and by subject within each series.

Forms of Material: Agriculture - Illinois - Photographs, Coal mines and mining - Illinois - Photographs, College buildings - Design and construction - Photographs, Illinois - Photographs, Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Photographic prints, negatives, and slides produced by C. William "Doc" Horrell, who operated a commercial photographic studio in Anna, Illinois and was a key figure in the establishment of Photographic Services and the Department of Cinema and Photography at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The collection consists primarily of images documenting the history, economic, cultural and social activities, and natural environment of the southern Illinois region, many of which were published in Horrell's books, Land Between the Rivers: The Southern Illinois Country (1973), and Southern Illinois Coal: A Portfolio (1995). Of special note are the photographs documenting the coal industry in southern Illinois. The collection also includes Horrell family and commercial photographs.

Biographical Note

C. William "Doc" Horrell, born in 1918, began taking photographs in 1936 when his mother gave him a $12 camera for graduation from high school in his hometown of Anna, Illinois. Doc quickly demonstrated a serious commitment to photography. Galled at the expense of having film processed for him, the budding photographer invested $3 in a basic film processing and printing kit. A walk-in closet in his mother’s house, unventilated and without running water, became the dark room in which Doc was able to create his first contact prints while using a built-in shelf for a sink. Doc wanted to make enlargements of his photos, but because enlargers were expensive, he built his own from plans found in a book.

Doc enrolled in Southern Illinois Normal University (later Southern Illinois University Carbondale), studying sociology and physics while earning a bachelor’s degree in education. The campus museum provided the young Doc’s first job in photography. Doc hoped to pursue a master’s degree after completing his undergraduate education in 1942, but World War II intervened. Doc worked at Scott Field (later Scott Air Force Base), near Belleville, Illinois, with a unit that wrote and produced training films for the U.S. military.

In 1944, Doc opened a successful photography studio in Anna, Illinois. After fulfilling his goal of earning a master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1949, Doc joined the staff of Southern Illinois University and remained affiliated with the university for the rest of his professional life. Doc headed the school’s Photographic Service from 1949-1958, but spent summers working toward a doctorate in education at Indiana University, a degree that he completed in 1955. In 1958, he was instrumental in starting the Printing and Photography department (later Cinema and Photography) at Southern Illinois University and accepted a faculty position with the university in 1959. Doc was promoted to Professor in 1972. Influencing generations of SIUC students, Doc taught classes in photojournalism, portraiture, documentary photography, and scientific photography up until his retirement in 1983.

In 1966, Doc began photographing Southern Illinois for the book The Land Between the Rivers, published by the SIU Press in 1973. Doc said that making photographs for the book gave him the opportunity to explore Southern Illinois in a way he never had before, and it was while working on this project that he took his first photographs of the region’s underground coal mining industry. Doc envisioned a new project as an outgrowth of the coal mining photographs that he had begun to make, a book specifically documenting this topic. Toward this end, he continued photographing coal mines and miners until the mid 1980s, eventually amassing more than 700 images.

The coal photographs had not yet been published at the time of Doc’s death in 1989. Recognizing the value of this work, his son Jeffrey Horrell took up the project, eventually guiding some of the most memorable of these images into the 1995 SIU Press publication in the book Southern Illinois Coal: A Portfolio. This volume contains more than fifty of the images that Doc had taken of coal mining between 1966 and 1986. Upon his death, Doc Horrell’s photographs were collected and donated to the Special Collections Research Center , Morris Library, SIUC.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: The collection was donated by C. William Horrell as accession 94.

Related Materials: Southern Illinois coal mining related photographs from the Horrell collection are available online at the other URL below.

Preferred Citation: [Description of image], C. William Horrell photographic collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Other URL:

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Negatives, 1964-1987],
[Series 2: Slides & Transparencies],
[Series 3: Prints],

Series 2: Slides & TransparenciesAdd to your cart.
With the exception of the initial 4x5 inch transparencies, this series consists of 35mm slides of southern Illinois subjects, personal subjects, and images used in Horrell's teaching activitites and are arranged by subject.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Folder 9: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Southern Illinois scenic
Folder 13: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Southern Illinois scenic
Folder 14: Ektachrome transparencies, 4x5Add to your cart.
Slide lecture - "Architectural Approach to Commercial Photography"
Box 12Add to your cart.
Slide Box 1: CoalAdd to your cart.
Black and white copy slides and originals.
Slide Box 2: Coal - Kornthal ChurchAdd to your cart.
Slide Box 3: Kornthal Church - Spring BlossomsAdd to your cart.
And non-coal copy slides
Slide Box 4: Spring Blossoms - Fall Colors - Sheep - Anna Fair - Bald KnobAdd to your cart.
Slide Box 5: Peaches - Scenic Southern IllinoisAdd to your cart.
Slide Box 6: Scenic Southern Illinois - Family vacationsAdd to your cart.
Box 13Add to your cart.
Slide Box 1: Family vacations - Maine - DuQuoin manufacturing - Swing set manufacturing - Journalism conferenceAdd to your cart.
Slide Box 2: Journalism conference - Teaching slides (FSA), "Pictures on a Page"Add to your cart.
Slide Box 3: Teaching slides, "Pictures on a Page", "Picture Pages", "Visual Impact in Print"Add to your cart.
Slide Box 4: Teaching slides, "Visual Impact in Print"Add to your cart.
Slide Box 5: Teaching slides, St. Louis Post Dispatch, "Great Moments in News"Add to your cart.
And  Southern Illinois images.
Slide Box 6: Teaching slides, "Great Moments in News", Pulitzer Prize, Stokes Slide ServiceAdd to your cart.
And miscellaneous vacation images.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Negatives, 1964-1987],
[Series 2: Slides & Transparencies],
[Series 3: Prints],

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