I was scrolling Instagram the other day and found myself completely engrossed by a post from an account called @national_archaelology. It's an account dedicated to showing amazing photos from around the world that typically have to do with history, travel, or archaeology.

The post that caught my eye had vintage photos from Switzerland and Germany. I might have stopped scrolling simply because they were vintage photos, but what had me transfixed was that these were photos of glaciers in the alps. The photos showed photos from the 1920s, 30s, or 40s, compared to photos taken in 2022. The change in the size of the glaciers was astounding.

Within a day, a similar post appeared on the Glacier National Park Facebook page. They explain that these photos were part of a long-term photography project.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) started the Repeat Photography Project in 1997 with a systematic search of Glacier's archives for historic photographs of glaciers in the park. They found many images to work with from early photographers such as T.J. Hileman and others who scoured the park to publicize its beauty and earn a living. The USGS scientists then hiked the historic images into the field to rephotograph them from the exact same vantage point.

The photos they shared are from four years: 1938, 1998, 2019, and 2021. The changes between the photos might be just as astounding as the photos of the alps.

Glacier National Park 1938

Grinnell Glacier in 1938 by Hileman (NPS)
Grinnell Glacier in 1938 by Hileman (NPS)
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Glacier National Park 1998

Grinnell Glacier in 1998 by Fagre (NPS)
Grinnell Glacier in 1998 by Fagre (NPS)
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Glacier National Park 2019

Grinnell Glacier in 2019 by McKeon (NPS)
Grinnell Glacier in 2019 by McKeon (NPS)
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Glacier National Park 2021

Grinnell Glacier in 2021 by Lombardi (NPS)
Grinnell Glacier in 2021 by Lombardi (NPS)
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If you're interested in more projects like these, and learning about Glacier National Park, did you know they have a podcast? It's called "Headwaters" and each of its three seasons has a different focus. Season three, 'Becoming,' is focused on the history of the park.

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