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U.S. Navy and Panama Canal Zone photograph album

Identifier: RHC-155

Scope and Contents

Photograph album, 185 x 256 mm. 47 leaves (two detached), black cloth covered boards with "Photographs" stamped in gold on upper left corner of cover. 120 black-and-white photographs pasted mostly on both sides of leaves; the final 21 leaves are blank.

The images depict a number of U.S. naval vessels including patrol ships and submarines in the Canal and surrounding waters, both at anchor and underway; military structures, barracks, and canal infrastructure; various aircraft and blimps, aerial views of the Canal Zone, and salvage work on a crashed seaplane; group pictures of ship crews and individual sailors, on and off duty; local street scenes and landscape views. One of the submarines pictured, C2 (formerly the USS Stingray), was sent to the Canal Zone at the end of 1913 and operated out of Cristobal, C.Z. until 1919, allowing the photographs in the album to be dated to this period.


  • circa 1913-1919

Access to the Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

The collection is the physical property of Grand Valley State University, but all literary rights are retained by the original creators of materials, their estates, heirs, or third parties. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure appropriate permissions for publication beyond the bounds of fair use.

Historical Notes

A photographic record of the United States naval operations and life around and in the Panama Canal during the World War I era (ca. 1913-1919). The Panama Canal was first opened for ship traffic and transit on 15 August 1914 and the photographs document the early days of the Canal’s operations. The photographer is unknown, but most likely was a U.S. Naval aviator.


0.8 Linear feet (1 flat box)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The photograph album was purchased from William Reese Company (New Haven, Connecticut) on 30 November 2018.
U.S. Navy and Panama Canal Zone photograph album
Robert Beasecker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States