SCOPE: This collection is comprised of the photographic prints, notes, ledgers, photograph negatives, and other ephemera collected by longtime Inland River Record editor and Waterways Journal contributor, Dan Owen. Content includes vessels primarily from the American inland waterways system as well as limited selections from abroad. The entire collection was kept under the name “Dan Owen’s Boat Photo Museum.”
EXTENT: Over 100 boxes of photographic prints, negatives, ledgers, and detailed notes taken by Dan Owen on each photograph.
HISTORY: Dan Owen grew up in East Liverpool Ohio, near the Ohio River. He bought his first camera and began documenting local towboats in 1955. In 1968, after briefly working aboard riverboats and in the U.S. Military, Owen moved to St. Louis and began working as an editor for the Waterways Journal. In 1977 Owen became editor of the Inland River Record and continued working with Record into his retirement. Throughout his career, Owen maintained his personal “Boat Photo Museum,” and self-reported the collection to contain over 37,000 original photographs of more than 13,500 vessels. Owen made this publicly available for order to any interested party for a nominal fee.
A full biography and tribute to Dan Owen is available through the Waterway Journal here: "Longtime IRR Editor Dan Owen Dies at Age 79," February 5, 2018 by Waterways Journal Staff.
PLEASE NOTE: Due the extensive size of this collection, content will be made available as it is processed. Portions of the collection may be undergoing processing and may not be available for viewing at this time. Please contact the Pott Curator with all questions regarding access.
SPECIAL THANKS: The Dan Owen Boat Photo Museum Collection is available at the Pott Library for public access & reproduction to further the study of and enthusiasm for modern American inland waterway vessels thanks to generosity of the Owen family and the Waterways Journal.
SEE ALSO: For more information about the Waterways Journal and Inland River Record, see also collection P-001 (The Waterways Journal Collection) and P-004 (Jim Swift Collection)
ACCESS: This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. It is currently housed offsite, so advance notice is needed to recall boxes. Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.
Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”
P-074 Dan Owen Boat Photo Museum Collection Finding Aid