Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | December 6, 2016

Doc Horrell Photo collections

Calendars in photos can be helpful for dating the image, but they can also be an eerie time capsule when they are in an unused space. Such is the case with the Doc Horrell Photo Collection. Doc Horrell was a professional photographer working in southern Illinois for decades. He was also a former student of and faculty member at Southern Illinois University Carbondale until his retirement in 1983. He documented the coal mines of southern Illinois starting in 1966 until the mid-80s.

In many of the photos of abandoned mines you can see a calendar hung on a wall or, in this photograph, piled up in front of a window. In others jackets are still hung on hooks. We are not always ready for change. The photos of operational mines are an evocative portrait of a very particular world at a particular time, and are well worth viewing to see what we can learn from them so many years later.

Written by Margaret Heller, Digital Services Librarian, Loyola University Chicago

For more information about this and other CARLI Digital Collections, visit



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