Oliver E. Aultman opened the Aultman Photography Studio in Trinidad, Colorado in 1890. Using glass plate negatives and, later, film, Mr. Aultman made studio portraits of thousands of southern Colorado residents. The portrait collection reflects the ethnic diversity of southern Colorado at the time. Aultman also photographed the city of Trinidad and surrounding areas.
Following O.E. Aultman's death in 1954, his son Glen Aultman operated the studio until his death in 2000. History Colorado purchased Aultman Studio negatives from Glen Aultman during the 1960s. Glen Aultman later donated additional materials including photographs, studio equipment, and furniture.
Today, the collection includes approximately 50,000 negatives, as well as studio registers, which provide a record of individuals and families who sat for and purchased Aultman photographs.
Glass plate negatives from the Aultman Studio Collection are conditionally available for research use in the Hart Research Library. Requests to view glass negatives in the Library must be made at least two weeks in advance by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission to view and handle glass negatives is dependent on the approval of the Curator of Photography, as well as on the condition of the negatives, size of the request, and staff availability to retrieve the requested items. Broken negatives, negatives with flaking or damaged emulsion, and negatives larger than 8"x10" are not available for research.
Researchers handling glass plate negatives in the Hart Research Library must wear cotton gloves at all times and be supervised by a library staff member. Only one negative at a time may be removed from the box and handled by the researcher. The researcher may only examine the negative by placing it horizontally on a light table, and may not leave his/her table while holding the negative. Each negative must be returned to its sleeve or envelope before the researcher may view the next negative. Researchers may photograph glass negatives under the terms of the Library's Camera Use Policy.