Archives > Online Collection Guides


Photographs in the Collections of the University Archives

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

The University of Pennsylvania Archives holds more than 35,000 historical images depicting the Penn campus as well as events, groups and people connected to the University. Included are photographs, negatives, slides, contact prints, sketches, prints and maps. Images are found in a wide variety of University Archives collections, including but not limited to the collections described here. As images from the Archives are digitized, they are added to the University Archives Digital Image Collection which can be searched, browsed and viewed online.

Larger photograph collections include:

Sepia photo of Furness Building, c. 1890 University Photographs
the largest concentration of photographs in the Archives: approximately 23,000 images of University-related subjects arranged in three series: buildings, groups and events, and sports.
Detail of photo of alumni (including 1911 grad) on Locust Walk Wharton Public Affairs Photographs
photographs, negatives, sketches and slides of people, events and buildings relating to the Wharton School of Business and the surrounding Penn community, c. 1970 - 1990


Smaller photograph collections include:

Detail of 1913 photo of Blockley Almshouse, later Philadelphia General Hospital Bureau of Publicity. Grounds along the Schuylkill Photographs
Twenty-nine sepia prints of properties along the Schuylkill River, 1910 - 1913
Peter Dechert photograph of Penn vs. Navy football game, 1960 - from a contact sheet Peter Dechert Photographs
This professional photographer's contact sheets and/or negatives for approximately 27,000 black and white images documenting people, activities, events and locales at the University of Pennsylvania, 1952 - 1968
Charles Albert Dickson Photograph Album
A student's album of 16 candid photographs documenting classroom and dormitory life for students in the Department of Metallurgy and Mining (c. 1890-1891) plus both a copy positive and copy negative of another image
Photograph of Nurses' Home at SW corner of 34th and Spruce Sts., c. 1901 Franz Frederick Exner Photographs
Forty-nine photographs, individual and in an album, depicting the Penn campus, Philadelphia, and the life of a graduate student c. 1901
Small version of c. 1961 color photo of Ravdin interior with modern chairs and view of outside courtyard Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Photographs
Photographs, dating from 1834 - 1953, gathered and donated by the architectural firm of Schmidt, Garden & Erikson, Chicago, Illinois
Surgical ampitheater, surgery performed by Professor Charles H. (Charles Harrison) Frazier, M.D. Viewed from ampitheater William Gilmore Leaman, Jr. Photograph Album
Photographs of Leaman's years as a Medical student and in service at the Southeastern Dispensary, 1916 to 1923
Negative of image of Cane Day festivities, 1939 MacCallum Stores Photographs
These professional photographers' negatives and photographic prints depicting campus scenes from 1934 to 1944
Studio portrait of L.A. Duhring, College 1864, M.D., 1867, LL.D. (Hon.) 1912 Philadelphia Physicians Album: Photographical Portraits taken at the time of the Centennial Exhibition, 1876
Penn faculty are included in these approximately 390 images
Frank Ross negative of photograph of university West Apartments at 311 N. 33rd St. Frank Ross Photographs
This professional photographer's 35 millimeter black and white negatives and color 4x5 transparencies documenting people, activities, events and locales related to the University of Pennsylvania and the West Philadelphia Corporation, 1962 - 1973
Raymond C. Saalbach Photographs
This Penn administrator's color photographs documenting major building activities on the University of Pennsylvania campus during the early 1960s

Large concentrations of photographs in other collections:

The Eadweard Muybridge Papers are also of special interest because they include original published photographs from Muybridge's Animal Locomotion series.

Portrait photographs are found in many collections not devoted exclusively to photographs or photographers:



Slide Collection (primarily campus buildings and scenes, c. 1964-1970s, including color photographs)


Microfilm Collection (includes a variety of photograph negatives)


University Film Collection


Department of Athletics Film Collection



View images online in the University Archives Digital Image Collection


How to obtain reproductions of images