Photos from Robert Limbert Collection now online

Robert Limbert with a horse and saddle.
MSS 080 Robert W. Limbert Papers Photo # 11032
Author, explorer, guide, lecturer and taxidermist Robert W. Limbert wrote about and photographed his explorations of the Idaho wilderness and traveled the country giving talks about his adventures.

His photographs and papers are preserved in the Archives and Special Collections Department of Albertsons Library at Boise State University.  An online collection of 250 digital items is now freely available to researchers at Albertsons Library Digital Collections at http://digital.boisestate.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/Limbert.

Robert W. Limbert was born in 1885 and raised by his adoptive family in Omaha, Nebraska. He worked for the Smithsonian Institution as a field naturalist for two years before moving to Boise, Idaho, in 1911 to enter the taxidermy business.

In 1915, he designed Idaho's medal award-winning exhibition for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and there are several pictures of this exhibition in the collection.  

A few years later he began writing about Idaho's scenery and wildlife for newspapers and magazines, including National Geographic. In 1921, after several preliminary visits, he led an exploring party into the vast lava fields of south-central Idaho; the resulting article in the National Geographic brought this little-known area to the attention of the nation and led to its designation as the Craters of the Moon National Monument .

Mrs. Margaret Limbert (Robert Limert’s wife) skiing through the Sawtooth Wilderness. 
MSS 080 Robert W. Limbert Papers Photo #24
Limbert also searched for and found Native American petroglyphs along the Snake River, explored the inaccessible Bruneau River region, and travelled throughout the Sawtooth Mountains, naming the then uncharted mountains and lakes.

During the 1920s he and his family moved to the Sawtooths, where he worked as a hunting and fishing guide, later establishing Redfish Lake Lodge, which is still a popular Idaho resort.  Limbert died in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1933, returning from a speaking tour in the East.

Photograph of a grizzly bear taken by Robert Limbert. He then hand-colored the
photograph and sold copies as postcards. 
MSS 080 Robert W. Limbert Papers Photo # 13042

In addition to the 500 images that are online, Boise State University Albertsons Library Archives and Special Collections also holds 15 linear feet of paper material Guide to the Robert W. Limbert Papers, including his newspaper clippings and other writings, a taxidermy sketch book, and other related ephemera.  In 2005 Steve Wursta created a documentary titled Among the Craters of the Moon:  the life and adventures of Robert W. Limbert.

Kent Randell,
Assistant Professor/Librarian/Archivist

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