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Karl Woodcock photography collection

Identifier: MC054

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists primarily of glass plate and acetate negatives. A few prints are also included. The images date from the 1890's to the 1930's. The bulk of the collection is Bates-related images: dorm rooms, buildings, faculty members, sports activities, as well as images of the Jordan Scientific Society Exhibition, student clubs, the Student Army Training Corps (1917-1918), and class reunions.

Family activities are also documented, including images taken on trips to the White Mountains, Rangeley, and Moosehead Lake, dating from 1920's-1930's, and other family outings.

Woodcock was the faculty advisor to the Bates Camera Club. While it appears that Woodcock took many of these photographs, some of these photographs may have been taken by other photographers and collected by Woodcock. Some of these images may have been published in Bates publications.


  • ca. 1890s-1930s


Access Restrictions

The collection is stored offsite and is currently unavailable. Please contact Archives staff for more information.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Karl Woodcock was born in Thomaston, Maine on May 11, 1895. His parents were Elmer F. and Jessie Killeran Woodcock.

Woodcock graduated with honors from Bates College in 1918, and joined the Bates faculty the following fall as an instructor in Physics. He took leave to return to school, earning his master's degree in 1922 and his Ph.D. in 1932, both from the University of Chicago.

In 1923 he was named assistant professor of Physics, associate professor in 1931, and full professor in 1939. In 1943, he became chairman of the Physics Department. Woodcock was a guiding influence in the development of the Physics Department, and under his tenure Bates saw the building of several key scientific facilities at Bates, including the observatory and the planetarium. He also conducted classes in surveying, and established a summer surveying program for Bates students.

In 1933, he married Hazel Luce, Bates Class 1922, and they had three children, all of whom graduated from Bates College.

He was an active member of the American Physics Society, the American Physics Teacher's Association, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In Maine he was the Chief of the Radiological Defense Section. In 1956 he was a member of the Maine Civil Defense and Public Safety Board and he was Chairman of the Lewiston Fire Department Civil Service Board for over 35 years. Late in his life, Woodcock was involved in a research program with the Maine Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries. The program was concerned with the control of corrosion of underwater metals and its effect on marine environment. Woodcock retired from Bates in 1965, and died in Lewiston in 1972, age 76.


6.5 Linear Feet

14 boxes

Language of Materials



Bates College professor of Physics, Karl Woodcock, was an avid photographer and served as faculty advisor to the Bates Camera Club in the early 20th century. The collection is comprised of negatives and few photograph prints either created or collected by Woodcock. It includes images of dorm rooms, buildings, faculty members, sports activities, the Jordan Scientific Society Exhibition, student clubs, the Student Army Training Corps (1917-1918), and class reunions. Also includes images of family activities, such as trips to the White Mountains, Rangeley, and Moosehead Lake.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into five series: I. Woodcock Family Negatives; II. Summer Survey Camp Negatives; III. Miscellaneous (found with the survey negatives); IV. Bates College Negatives; and V. Miscellaneous.

Within series, by subject and chronological where appropriate.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Found in a storeroom in Carnegie Science Center, 1999. Accession No.: 99-001.

Related Material

Bates Historic Photograph Collection, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College

Fred Reuel Jones Negatives (accession # 2000.136), Maine State Museum, Augusta, Maine

Processing Information

Processed by Maria Theresa Mendoza, 1999.

Final arrangement and description by Kurt Kuss, 1999.

Finding aid updated by Pat Webber, 2023.

Guide to the Karl Woodcock photography collection, 1890s-1930s
Edited Full Draft
Kurt Kuss
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America