Henry Kendall played an active part in defining the role of scientists in the environmental movement; as one of the founders, and long term chairman, of the Union of Concerned Scientists he was directly involved in documenting air pollution from power and industrial plants and automobiles, producing an extensive series of aerial photographs illustrating smog effects in the Boston area, as well as in several other US cities he overflew in his many cross-country travels. He also photographed from the air several major oil polluting shipwrecks. Many of these photographs have not only documentary value, but also great aesthetic appeal.
An experienced pilot, Kendall produced many aerial photographs taken from his own plane. In Sharon he documented seasonal and chronological changes, particularly in the Moose Hill area. His flights over the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Cape Cod, the Grand Canyon, the California coast, the Rocky Mountains and other scenic regions account for several hundred images.
After the accidental deaths of several climbing companions in the 1960s, Henry gave up mountaineering in favor of hiking, and explored the Rockies, the Tetons, the Auyuittuq National Park and Baffin Island in Canada. Many of the images can serve as references for long term studies of climate change, particularly of glacier recession.
A small portion of the collection is devoted to images of experimental setups at Stanford, MIT, and Fermilab, and to photographs of various celestial events directly observed by Henry Kendall.
The Photographic archive of people, places and environment also holds many portraits of Kendall’s friends, colleagues, and climbing partners, as well as ordinary people encountered in his travels.