Special Collections (basement of Allen Library South) has more than 1 million historic images primarily of the Pacific Northwest. Selected images have been digitized and are part of the UW Libraries Digital Collections.
Special Collections also has more than 50,000 postcards both artistic (e.g., Valentine's postcards, humorous cards) and photographic. The collection is worldwide in scope but approximately 20% depict locales in the Pacific Northwest.
Research in Special Collections is different from more typical library research. The unique nature of the material dictates that there are stricter security procedures -- users need to register, manuscript materials need to be requested, personal belongings are placed in lockers, photocopying is limited, etc. The staff at the desk can help you find images. The following tips can help you when using the manuscript material in Special Collections:
Keep in mind
How to use photographs
Photographs, drawings and other images provide information you can't always get from a text source. Images can provide details of everyday life such as clothing or material culture. It is important to keep in mind that photographs are not an unbiased reflection of reality -- the photographer chooses what and how to depict a certain scene. When using images ask yourself, "why it was created, how it was used, how this subject that was depicted here, was understood."
For more information on using photographs see: Making Sense of Documentary Photographs, Analyzing Photographs, Analyzing Material Culture, Photo Analysis Worksheet, Learning to do Historical Research: Photographic Images.