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Vincent Soboleff Photograph Collection, ca. 1896–1920

Identifier: PCA 1

Scope and Contents

Angoon, Killisnoo and Southeast Alaska views, ca. 1896-1920.


  • circa 1896-1920



Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for viewing; however, the photographs may not be photocopied. Please Note: Not all of the glass plates were copied for viewing. The finding aid for the Vincent Soboleff collection contains all of the photographs received. Therefore, gaps appear in the microfiched photos and the actual photo collection. Assistance may be required when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be discussed with the Librarian. Photocopying does not constitute permission to publish.

Biographical / Historical

With his wife Olga, Father John Soboleff moved to Killisnoo from San Francisco in the early 1890s. In Killisnoo, Father Soboleff served the Russian Orthodox Church. In about 1896, Father Soboleff purchased a camera for his three children. The children used the camera, but Vincent took most of the views and retained the camera until the 1920's.

Vincent Soboleff (nickname: “Vita”) operated the Kootznahoo Store in Angoon for many years. After his death in 1950, Vincent's nephew, Lloyd "Kinky" Bayers visited the store and found several hundred glass plate negatives in the attic.

The Soboleff family photographs cover a variety of subjects from Killisnoo to Angoon, Alaska. The most notable views cover Tlingit Indian culture, Russian Orthodox church activities, and the fishing industry. Other subjects include Juneau and Sitka, and views by other commercial photographers.

Mrs. Vera Bayers also donated the files and books of her son, Captain Lloyd H."Kinky" Bayers. The Lloyd "Kinky" Bayers col1ection is considered a comprehensive historical resource for Juneau.

Per Ross Soboleff: Vincent Soboleff's brother Sasha (Ross’s grandfather) married a Tlingit woman (Ross's grandmother); they owned a store in Angoon also.


791 Photographic Prints (791 photographs) : Glass plate negatives

Language of Materials



The Vincent Soboleff collection of glass plate negatives was donated to the Alaska Historical Library by Mrs. Vera Soboleff Bayers (Vincent's sister) in 1968. #783-791 were later added to the collection, provenance is unknown.

Existence and Location of Originals


Stored in Glass Plate cabinet

7 Metal Containers

#1-115 ; #116-220 ; #221-333 ; #337-453 ; #454-576 ; #577-688 ; #689-784, 790, 791

Existence and Location of Copies

Some photographs in this collection have been digitized and are available to view via Alaska's Digital Archives.

Related Materials

A Russian American Photographer in Tlingit Country: Vincent Soboleff in Alaska by Sergei Kan (TR140.S634K36 2013)

Processing Information

Most of the plate negatives were in good condition; however older plates were water damaged. Mr. Bayers sorted, labeled and preserved the glass plates. Select images were copied onto Microfiche (see Conditions Governing Access note). The photographs are sleeved in Mylar and housed in acid-free containers. Descriptions for the glass plates were taken from information on the glass plates and information on the negative sleeves. The empty negative sleeves are stored in a wooden box on top of the Empty Negatives Sleeves and Empty Boxes filing cabinet in the vault.

Finding aid for the Vincent Soboleff Photograph Collection, ca. 1896–1920
Processed by: Staff ; Revised by: Mary Anne Slemmons, November 2006 ; Sean M. Lanksbury, March 2007 ; jas, March 2011 ; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Freya Anderson, May 2019 ; Inventory added by: Jacki Swearingen
2022 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Alaska State Library - Historical Collections Finding Aids Repository

PO Box 110571
Juneau AK 99811-0571 US
907-465-2151 (Fax)