Museum Receives Grant to Continue Digitization of Barnes Photograph Archives 

The Moab Museum has recently been awarded a second grant from the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) to continue digitizing images from the Fran and Terby Barnes Photograph Archives, which is housed at the Moab Museum. The Moab Museum began digitizing the Barnes Collection in 2020 with a generous grant from the USHRAB through a fruitful partnership with the Special Collections Library at Southern Utah University. The latest grant may nearly complete the photo archive’s digitization.

Fran Barnes (1922-2003) was an avid traveler and photographer who spent nearly forty years documenting the desert southwest around Moab. His work includes 46 Canyon Country books about southeastern Utah, which were composed and published with the help of his wife, Terby Barnes. 

Each book in the Canyon Country series covers a topic uniquely related to the region, including off-road vehicle trail guides, mountain biking guides, botanical guides, geologic phenomena, paleontology, and cultural and archaeological history. Many of Fran and Terby’s books are still sold online and at local retail shops informing visitors and residents alike about the natural and cultural environment, and Fran’s photography features prominently in the books.

The Fran and Terby Barnes Photograph Archive is a collection of over 50,000 photos in various formats ranging from color and black and white negatives and slides to large and small format developed images. The Moab Museum also retains as a part of this archive Barnes’ collected maps and both published and unpublished written works. The archive, with materials from approximately 1960 to 2008, is a priceless record of the region at a lesser developed time, with visual representation of history and the natural environment which current and future generations will not have the chance to witness.

The Moab Museum is dedicated to sharing stories of the natural and human history of the Moab area. For more information, visit