The Leonard Carpenter Panama Canal Collection primarily consists of photographs of Panama and the Panama Canal Zone during construction, beginning in 1914. The photographs show dredging and construction operations, workers, military personnel and camps, ships such as the U.S.S. Ohio, the dam at Pedro Miguel, an hydroelectric plant, locks, the Steamship Cristobal, Paraiso Yard, and a U.S. Navy dirigible. Several photos have captions identifying the persons, places and events shown. Most of the collection, particularly the photographs and items dated 1914 to 1929, originally were created or collected by Walter E. Boyd. He appears in a small number of the photographs, and two of the publications in the collection were mailed to him.

Leonard Carpenter donated the collection in 1993 and a finding aid was prepared. The digitization of this collection was supported by a grant from SAIL, a regional group of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC).