The Idaho Transportation Department this week launched a new website offering a free archive of some 30,000 historical photos of the Gem State’s transportation development history.
“The history of Idaho is very much intertwined with the history of our highways and roads. Early pioneers built the Gem State by carving highways and byways into our diverse landscape,” said ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead.
The collection comes from the Idaho Transportation Department's main headquarters located in Boise. The site consists of hundreds of thousands of documents and photographs created and used by the organization throughout the 20th Century.
The collection includes content created for internal use (such as surveys, plans, schematics, and research projects), a lot of externally-oriented content (like promotional, public relations and outreach material, details of public hearings, commemorations, and dedications), as well as basic documentary evidence of the Department’s buildings, laboratories, personnel, and seasonal events dating from the early 1900s up to 2012, when the documents were transferred to the Idaho State Archives.
Photos are from all six ITD districts across the state.
“All too often, we tend to get caught up in where we are today,” Hollinshead said. “These photos allow us to take a step back and look at what brought us to this point.”
“Photos that really stuck out in my mind are those from the 1976 Teton Dam collapse in eastern Idaho,” he added. “Not only are there a number of photos of the collapse and the devastation it caused -– such as the iconic photo of the twisted railroad tracks and highways destroyed by the flood waters, but there are also pictures of the work and repairs and restoration efforts that went into rebuilding the area.”
You can check out the photo collection at itd.idaho.gov/photohistory .
Accessing the photos is easy. Just go to the site, enter your search criteria (name and location of the photo you want), then download the results in whatever size you need.