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Research Guides

Historical Visual Materials Collections: Home

This guide lists a variety of research materials such as photographs, architectural plans, postcards, historical maps, artwork and ephemera.

What's in this Guide

Photographer, Ernst Skarstedt and camera equipment in his studio, Clark County, Washington, June 1889. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW3757

The Historical Visual Materials Collections contain a variety of research materials such as photographs, architectural plans, postcards, historical maps, artwork and ephemera. Most of the items relate to various aspects of the Pacific Northwest, its history, geography, arts, and industries. 
  • Photographs -  Over 1,000,000 documentary images covering an extensive geographical area, in particular western Washington, Alaska, and the Yukon. Examples include black-and-white photographic prints and negatives, glass lantern slides, and 35mm film color slides, along with unusual and rare photographic formats, such as stereocards and daguerrotypes
  • Architectural Records - Architectural plans, drawings, and renderings, and resources such as photographs, construction specifications, correspondence, books and pamphlets, advertising and promotion materials, and newspaper and periodical articles.
  • Moving Images - Films in various formats dating back to 1914. They cover a wide variety of topics including travel and family life, activities and research related to the UW, industries such as plywood manufacturing, logging, fishing, whaling, and construction, political figures, civil rights and labor, and other documentation of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. 
  • Maps -  Historical and rare maps from 16th-century world maps to 19th and early 20th-century Pacific Northwest maps and bird's-eye views.


    Related Links and Guides

    Visual Materials Curator

    Nicolette Bromberg

    Donating Items to the Collections

    Our collecting focus is the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, but we also collect materials from around the world if the creator or collector has a tie with the Northwest or if the materials relate to an academic area of study at the UW.

    Consult Nicolette Bromberg (206) 543-1929 or to discuss gifts of photographs or moving images.

    Using the Photographs

    Find something you like? You may order reproductions of materials in Special Collections in the form of photocopies, prints or digital scans. Visit the Reproductions Services page for more information.

    Copyright and Use

    Copyright and Use - Terms and Restrictions on reproduction or other use of materials.