About the Collection

The Photographic Archive digital collection presents digital facsimiles of original documentary images in the University of Chicago Archives. The original images are organized into five broad topical series, described as follows:

Series I: Individuals and Groups

Photographs of individuals currently or formerly affiliated with the University of Chicago, principally Trustees, administrators, faculty members, staff, donors, and alumni; photographs of academic and administrative groups associated with the University of Chicago and its predecessors and affiliates, including Old University of Chicago classes, University of Chicago academic departments, and degree-granting interdisciplinary academic committees.

Series II: Buildings and Grounds

Photographs of buildings, campus plans, landscaping, and campus views of the University of Chicago and its predecessor and affiliate institutions; the Chicago neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Woodlawn; the Hyde Park-Kenwood urban renewal project; and city parks near the campus, including Jackson Park, Washington Park, and other components of the South Parks system; selected photographs of the South Side and central areas of the city of Chicago.

Series III: Events

Photographs of academic, public, and historical events associated with the history of the University of Chicago and its predecessors and affiliates; photographs of alumni activities, academic ceremonies, exhibitions, faculty activities, inaugurations, alumni reunions, visits to campus of notable individuals, activities associated with World War I and World War II, and the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Series IV: Student Activities

Photographs of formal and informal student activities on the University of Chicago campus, including academic classes, laboratories, and seminars; men's fraternities and women's social clubs; athletic competitions and individual sports activities in candid views; general recreational activities; academic registration and orientation programs; residence halls and housing; and theatrical groups and dramatic productions.

Series V: Sports

Posed photographs of individual student athletes and posed group photographs of athletic teams of the University of Chicago and University High School; photographs representing men's and women's sports including baseball, basketball, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, polo, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, water polo, weight-lifting, and wrestling.

Series VI: Yerkes

Among the most significant visual materials in the Yerkes collection are more than 4,800 documentary photographs. These depict the construction of the main observatory building and the installation of instruments, the work of astronomers and staff, astronomical expeditions to sites including Sumatra and Catalina Island, and important visitors, among them Albert Einstein.

Series VII: Chicago Maroon

Photographs from the Chicago Maroon, the independent U of C student newspaper, documenting campus social life, student organizations, meetings, rallies, and athletics.

Guide to the Photographic Archive

A guide to the scope and arrangement of the original photographs in the Photographic Archive is available on the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center web site:

Guide to the Photographic Archive:

View Materials from the Collection

The original photographs in the Photographic Archive, along with additional historical photographs located in other archival and manuscript collections, are available for consultation by researchers in the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center.

Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 E. 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Fax: (773) 702-3728

Contact the Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center.