William E. Meed was not a professional photographer, but he compiled one of the most important photographic records of the Klondike between the years 1898 and 1907. He and his wife, Mabel, went to Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada, in 1898, where he worked in river transportation for about ten years. There, he compiled an extensive documentary collection of some 233 Klondike-related photographs. Some of these were taken by prominent commercial photographers, while others were snapshot photographs taken by himself and his friends. The collection is accompanied by a series of captions derived from what Meed called his Journal, a narrative account of his Klondike experiences that is keyed to the photographs.
Many of the photographs are by well-known photographers such as Eric A. Hegg, Kinsey & Kinsey (Clark Kinsey and Clarence Kinsey), H. J. Goetzman, H. C. Barley, and George G. Cantwell. These depict Klondike mines and mining activities in the Dawson vicinity, Dawson street scenes, views along the Chilkoot Trail and the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad, steamboats and steamboat landings, and other Klondike scenes. William E. Meed was an amateur photographer himself, and took a number of photographs that document his own activities, his wife and family, his friends, and his fellow workers for the Stewart River Co. and aboard the steamboat Prospector.The snapshots show Dawson's cabin residences, the Dawson docks and freighting activities, outings by dogsled, wilderness roadhouses, and domestic scenes.
The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the William E. Meed Collection no. 246.