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Photographs - Archives Dept.: Photographs in the Archives Department

This guide provides information on using the Archives to locate and study photographs as source material, or as they inform on local history research. We recommend search paths, search tools, and collections with photographs.


Collections With Photographs

The Archives Dept. offers many photographs taken in many eras and of many subjects.  They provide rich source material on different topics, as well provide examples of photographs as visual resources. 

A list of pertinent collections follows. We have many other collections containing photographic images, which you may explore by using the search strategies described elsewhere in this page, or by asking an archivist.


Search the library catalog to locate archival and manuscript collections which include photographs.

Use the search box below, already limited to the Archives Dept.'s holdings. Note that the results will include some books on the subject, but more of them will describe archival or manuscript collections.

Here are three examples of simple keyword searches.  Note that the boolean operator and is not necessary between keywords:

1. photographs

2. scrapbooks

3. photographer


A general search hint: when reading any catalog record, follow the link at "Photographs" in the Subject Headings section to locate more materials in the photographic format here in the UWM Libraries.

We write finding aids, or guides, for most of our collections. These guides explain the creator, contents and dates of the collection. This information is important to you when deciding if something is useful to your research. A finding aid also provides the information you will need to request and use a collection when you visit the Archives Dept.
All of our finding aids are included in Archival Resources in Wisconsin, a database of over 4,000 finding aids of collections held in seventeen repositories statewide.
Search our finding aids by using the search boxes below. Be sure to select an operator (and, or or not) as appropriate, and then click on "Search." Then explore the links in the grey band that appears with each result. Note: this search is limited to our holdings here at the Archives Department, UWM Libraries, which is also known as Milwaukee Area Research Center.

Use Archivegrid to find archives and collections in your geographic area.

The Library of Congress has a wealth of digital collections, which you can search right from their homepage.  

If you're not sure where to start, you can also browse their collections by topic.

Subject Guide