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Marriott Library offers a vast, free, historical resource

Though it’s not the sharpest of photos, Robert Leroy Parker clearly has a shiner.

A black eye in an old, shadowy photo wouldn’t normally warrant more than a mere observation — unless you know that Parker also went by Butch Cassidy.

Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, as photographed in 1894 at the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary (image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library).

Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, as photographed in 1894 at the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary (image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library).

Cassidy was an American train and bank robber famously played on screen by Paul Newman. The mugshot was taken in 1894 after Parker was sentenced to two years in the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary at age 27. His crime? Stealing a $5 horse. After Parker’s release in 1896, he joined a band of criminals who collectively became known as the Wild Bunch.

These details suddenly make the backstory of that bruise considerably more compelling.

Every photo has a backstory, and Parker’s is one of more than 70,000 in the J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections. The J. Willard  Marriott Library has served as the University of Utah’s central library, in one building or another, since the U’s first librarian was appointed in 1850. Today, its holdings include more than 350 digital collections — millions of digital photographs, maps, books, videos, and audio recordings, among other historical artifacts.

The photos below are part of these digital collections. We invite you to explore this vast and enlightening historical resource, available for free to the U community and public. A note about copyright permission: Patrons are not required to request the library’s permission to publish or reuse any document or image that in the public domain. Please see the library’s Policy on Describing Ownership and Re-Use of Digital Assets for additional details.

From the Life in the West collection: “Covered wagon with three men, a woman, and a dog.” Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Peoples of Utah collection: Chief Ouray, Ute Chieftain, and his sub-chiefs: Warets, Shavano Ankatosh, and Guero (Quray in center front). Photo taken by William Henry Jackson while on a peace mission to Washington, D. C. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Peoples of Utah collection: Unidentified woman from “African Americans in Utah.” Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Repertory Dance Company collection: Dancers Kay Clark and Thom Scalise. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Lila Eccles Brimhall collection: Scene from outdoor production of "Twelfth Night" performed on the University of Utah campus in 1914. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the KUED Topaz residents collection: In 1942, work crews from the Topaz War Relocation Center, like the men shown here, saved Utah's agricultural harvest when labor shortages threatened to leave crops rotting in the fields. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Juanita Leone Leavitt Pulsipher Brooks collection: A snapshot of Juanita Brooks, American historian and author, presumably in her home in southern Utah. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the William Edward Hook collection: “Unidentified couple.” Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the William Edward Hook glass negatives collection: “Cigar store woman at counter.” Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Movies made in Utah collection: In this promotional photograph, Deanna Durbin speaks with fellow actors Akim Tamiroff, left, and Leonid Kinskey, right, while on location in southern Utah for the 1944 Universal Studios musical “Can't Help Singing.”From the George M. Ottinger collection: People on the "Associations Members" float play instruments in the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA) Jubilee parade. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.From the Peoples of Utah collection: Photograph of the Dr. Ernest King family. The Kings sold Chinese goods and repaired China dolls in the King Doll Hospital. Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library.

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Last Updated: 8/10/22