Volcano Awareness Month: Barbara Brown Photograph Collection

Barbara Lowe Brown (1931 –2020) photographed the 1955 eruption of Kīlauea volcano in the Lower East Rift Zone, its impact on families from Kapoho to Kalapana, and the humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross. The collection includes more than 600 images with extensive documentation from February 28 – March 23, 1955. Brown had simply come to Hawaiʻi for a family vacation! Kīlauea volcano erupted in Puna until May 26, 1955.

The Lyman Museum preserves the Barbara Brown Photograph Collection, her eruption journal, and related documents. To see even more, the Lyman Museum Archives is open for research by appointment. Learn more at https://lymanmuseum.org/archives/research-collection/.

Barbara Brown in 1955. Brown became a professional photographer and a longtime resident of Deer Harbor, Washington. Brown earned a master’s degree in anthropology and museum studies. She supported a wide range of causes, from affordable housing, environmental conservation, local history, marine science to music. 

Brown submitted the following photographs and captions as part of “The Story of an Eruption,” a proposed March 1955 article: