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Special Collections Research Center

Resources and methods for identifying and using the materials housed in the Special Collections Research Center

Photographic Archive

Photographic Archive

The University of Chicago Photographic Archive digital collection is more than 68,000 images documenting the history of the University of Chicago and the development of its campus, academic programs, and community life.

Notable Series and Other Keyword Searches:

Yerkes Observatory:  Images of the construction of the observatory in Williams Bay Wisconsin, instruments, astronomers, staff and visitors, expeditions, observatories, and the universe.

Botany Department:  Formerly American Environmental Photographs. Images from more than 4,500 glass lantern slides, glass negatives, and photographic prints, created by faculty members and students of the University of Chicago Department of Botany between 1891 and 1936, influential in the development of modern ecological studies. These photographs provide an overview of important representative natural landscapes across the nation

The Chicago Maroon:  Photos taken by Chicago Maroon student photographers,  of U of C classes, social clubs, fraternities, recreational activities, academic registration and orientation, student residences, and theatrical groups and productions.

Mildred Mead:  Images by photographer Mildred Mead documenting architecture and living conditions in Chicago, particularly on the south side. Mead recorded activities associated with the South East Chicago Commission, The Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference, Michael Reese Hospital, the University of Chicago Planning Unit, the Fort Dearborn Project (for Marshall Field), the study of Maxwell Street Market sponsored by agencies when the South Freeway was projected to go through the Market, city parks, the lakefront, the Hyde Park 57th St. Fair, the Robie House, and public housing and urban redevelopment projects of the Land Clearance commission and the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council.

Columbian Exposition:  Images of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Oriental Institute: Images of artifacts and expeditions from the Oriental Institute.  See also online collections and publications from the OI: https://oi.uchicago.edu/research