The Photographic Archives houses approximately 2 million photographs and associated records and manuscripts. Its mission is to collect significant documentary photograph collections, to organize the collections and to make them available to both the researcher and the casual browser. This is accomplished through our reference service, searching our subject files (copies of photographs arranged by subject), exhibitions, publications, and other programs.
Hundreds of discrete collections include national documentary projects, local history photographs and an excellent museum collection of fine prints. Use of our reading room and exhibitions gallery is free and open to the public.
Roy Stryker Papers
Manuscripts, correspondence and vintage prints from the Stryker-directed projects--Farm Security Administration (FSA), the Standard Oil (New Jersey) Co. and Jones & Laughlin Steel. More information.
Fine Art Photographs
Photographs by Ansel Adams, Stern J. Bramson, Paul Caponigro, Walker Evans, Arthur Fellig (Weegee), Phillipe Halsman, Dorothea Lange, Lisette Model, Edwin and Louise Rosskam, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Edward Weston, Minor White, Marion Post Wolcott, and hundreds of contemporary American artists.
Local History Collections
Over one-half million local history photographs
- Caufield & Shook Studio (1904-1978)
- Lin Caufield Studio (1954-1980)
- James N. Keen photograph collection (1932-1974)
- Royal Photo Company (1903-1973)
- R. G. Potter Collection
- Kate Matthews Collection
The Stern J. Bramson Award for outstanding photographic achievement is presented each spring to a student graduating from a Louisville area high school. More about the contest.