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Image Resources: History of Photography

Yale University's Arts Library Digital Services guide to digital image resources.

Photography Image Resources

Resources marked with this symbol    indicate that ithe resource is only accessible either on campus or via VPN (Virtual Private Network) if you are off campus. All active Yale NetIDs are automatically authorized to use the VPN service.  Read more about VPN here.

Yale University Digital Library Cross Collection 

Enables searches across holdings in the Beinecke, Visual Resources Collection, Walpole Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Arts of the Book Collection, and the Classics Dept. collection


Contains many photographic collections such as over 80,000 images from the Magnum Photos and 16,000 images from MOMA's Exhibition Installation Photograph Collection among others.


Aerial Images, a selection of resources (other than Google Earth)

USGS Earth Explorer | National Collection of Aerial Photography (UK/Europe) | Gateway to Astronaut Photography from Space (NASA)



Over 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts. 


Center for Creative Photography (University of Arizona)

The Center for Creative Photography is an archive and research center located on the University of Arizona campus. It retains the archives of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, and other great twentieth-century photographers. The Center is pleased to announce that its collections of photographs by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams are now available on the University of Arizona Institutional Repository.



Millions of photographs, artworks, and footage available for licensing. Started by Bill Gates in 1989.


George Eastman House 

Online selections from the George Eastman House's vast photographic heldings.


Harry Ransom Center Photography Collection

Although many of the holdings are not available online, researchers can search the catalog for records of photographs and request digital scans for a fee.


Harvard University Directory of Photographs

A guide to the 7.5 million photographs in Harvard's various collections.  Search the Visual Information Access system for access to the photographs that have been digitized.


History of the American West (Denver Public Library)  

Collection of over 30,000 photographs of the American West from 1860-1920, drawn from the holdings of the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library. Search by keyword or browse by topic. 


International Center for Photography (ICP), New York

Their eMuseum is a searchable database of ICP's Photography Collection. Because of the large number of works in the collection, not all are currently included in eMuseum. But new items are continually added to the online collection, and records are constantly updated with additional research and texts. In addition to searching eMuseum, you can also create an account and manage your favorite images.


Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The collections are rich in materials produced in, or documenting, the United States and the American people, as well as international collections. Some sub-collections include: Daguerrotype Portaits and Views and Photographs from the FSA-OWI 1935-1945


LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.


London Times | Digital Archive 1785-2006

Search for images of world events, people, places in photographs published in The Times, the British daily newspaper


NYPL Digital Gallery

The New York Public Libaray's Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs contains over 63,000 digital images.


National Archives

Collection of historical images from the National Archives' Online Exhibits. Includes 20th century photographs and photographers, workplaces of the 19th and 20th centuries, historical panoramic photography, and more. Browse by topic, time period, or search by keyword.  



Collaborative project between the George Eastman House and the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York City. Includes images, exhibitions, and historical info on photography.


Smithsonian Institution Archives

Collection of digital photographs of historic events, as well as displays, objects and artifacts in the Smithsonian collections, offered by the Smithsonian Photographic Services. Search by keyword or browse by category, including American history, the Presidency, and more.


William Gedney Photographs and Writings (Duke University)

The 50,000 item collection documents Gedney's work from the 1950s to 1989. Subjects include photographs of cross country road trips; rural New York; Manhattan; Brooklyn; rural Kentucky; Hippies in San Francisco; composers; gay rallies and demonstrations; St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf; India; England; Ireland; France; and, a large number of nocturnal pictures.


Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs 1869-1960

About 7600 photographs that depict life, primarily in East Africa, between about 1860 and 1960, assembled by British collector H. Winteron.


Semyon Fridlyand Archive Collection (University of Denver)

Digital archive of over 10,000 photographs of daily life in the Soviet Union (1940s-1980s) by photojournalist and photo editor of Ogonek (the Soviet Union’s version of Life magazine). During his 40-year career, Fridlyand photographed every major theme in official Soviet history, from industrialization and collectivization, to the building of a Soviet empire stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic, and from the Arctic to the Black Sea. Fridlyand also covered the battlefields of WWII.



Billboard advertising fertilizer dusted over the cotton fields by aeroplanes. Mississippi Delta
From the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives

ARTstor has 80,000 photographs from 
Magnum Photos 

Thomas Dworzak, New York, 10/2008. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili visits the US

NYPL has over 65,000 photographs
in the Digital Collection

Yale University Dining Hall
From the Collection of NYPL