Our photographs collection is one of the largest and most frequently explored resources in our holdings. We have more than three million photographs which originate from a multitude of sources, including commercial photographers, image-rich portions of personal papers and organizational records, and several photographic archives that document UTSA history. Our holdings also include two massive collections from area newspapers, including the San Antonio Express-News and the San Antonio Light.
The General Photograph Collection was originally assembled by staff of the Institute of Texan Cultures, UTSA’s cultural heritage museum, through their effort to document the state’s communities and ethnic groups. Many of these photographs were generously loaned or donated by members of those communities. In addition, this collection includes photographic copies of drawings, engravings, printed materials, and paintings.
Photographs in our collections cover a broad range of topics, including: historic views of San Antonio, small towns in South and Central Texas, ethnic communities and culture, daily life, street scenes, family photographs, portraits, events, architecture, and UTSA history.
The collection includes images from:
- General Photograph Collection, 1850s-2000
- Harvey Belgin Photograph Collection, 1946-1980s
- Ray Howell Photograph Collection, 1962-1969
- San Antonio Express-News Photograph Collection, 1950-1990
- San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, 1924-1993
- Zintgraff Studios Photograph Collection, 1800s-1987
- Gil Barrera Photographs of UTSA Collection, 1972-1978
- UTSA Office of University Communications Photographs Collection, 1972-2001
More than a decade ago we embarked on an ongoing effort to digitize our materials and make them accessible online. Only a fraction of our photographic holdings have been digitized and new images are added as they become available.
Pictured above: Haymarket Plaza, San Antonio, ca. 1925. L-3880-E. MS 359, San Antonio Light Photograph Collection.