Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Jean W. Seele Rural Photographs


Collection ID:
Seele, Charline
Seele, Jean W. (Jean Warren), 1924-1993
Physical Description:
0.6 Cubic feet
6 boxes

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
Approx. 1,065 color photographs (chromogenic prints), negatives and slides of rural scenes, mostly in Kansas.


Collection is divided into two series.
Series 1: Photographs
Series 2: Slides

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Jean Warren (J. W.) Seele (1924-1993) was born in Topeka, Kansas and studied aeronautics at the Spartan School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He worked for thirty years as an engineering technician at the Kansas Department of Transportation. Photography became a hobby that ultimately allowed him to pursue his interest in aviation. In the mid-1970s, he began to photograph the Kansas countryside.


Archives Center Staff
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of Ms. Charline Seele, widow of the photographer (transaction finalized 2002). Received in 2001. Originally received by NASM with Seele's aircraft photographs, then transferred to the Archives Center through Dr. Pete Daniel, curator of agriculture. Later (June 15, 2001) some aviation-related images were returned to NASM.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Ms. Charline Seele, 2000.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Archives Center staff, 2020.

Using the Collection

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Rights from photographs transferred to Museum in Deed of Gift. Fees for commercial reproduction.
Restrictions on Access
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Jean W. Seele Rural Photographs, 1970s-1980s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Charline Seele.

Related Archival Materials
Other Materials at the Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum Archives
Jean Warren (J. W.) Seele Aircraft Photography Collection, circa 1950s-1970s
This collection consists of approximately 6000 color slides and over 2000 negatives/prints (a mixture of color and black and white) of civil and military aircraft taken by Seele, circa 1950s-1970s. The shots were taken in the United States, specifically in the Midwest. Aircraft from the following manufacturers are represented: Aero Commander, Arrow, Aeronca, Beechcraft, Bell, Bellanca, Boeing, Bristol, Bucker, Callair, Cessna, Consolidated, Convair, Curtiss, Dassault, de Havilland, Davis, Dart, Douglas, ERCO, Fairchild, Fleet, Ford, Goodyear, Great Lakes, Grumman, Howard, Hawker Siddeley, Hughes, Heinkel, Jodel, Junkers, Lockheed, Ling-Temco-Vought, Lawson, Parsons, Pitts, Pitcarin, Piper, Pazmany, Piaggo, Porterfield, Republic, SAAB, Sikorsky, Stampe, Stearman, Stinson, Swearingen, Taylor, Vickers, and Waco. In June of 2001 the Smitihsonian's Museum of American History transferred an additional shoebox of Seele photography that had been sent directly to them from the widow. This color images included balloon events as well as aircraft shots. The ballooning images are color prints taken mostly around Topeka, Kansas, while the aircraft images are color transparencies of aircraft taken, again, mostly around Topeka.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscapes (representations) -- Kansas Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chromogenic processes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kansas Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rural scenes Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color prints (photographs) Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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